Bugs like the anomalocaris canadensis, a mixture of shrimp and squid with its razor-sharp teeth, roamed the Earth long ago
10. Giant Water Bugs
Giant water bugs, nicknamed “toe-biters,” can grow larger than 4.75 inches and rival the length of some of the world’s largest beetles. These bugs, found in freshwater streams and ponds, can be found worldwide. Their giant pincers pack quite a bite and earn them their nickname. Those beaks inject prey with poisonous digestive juices to kill their next meal before sucking it up. While not exactly appealing to look at, they are considered a treat by southeast Asians who eat them.
9. Giant Burrowing Cockroach
The giant burrowing cockroach is one of the biggest insects in the world and takes the crown as the world’s heaviest cockroach. These Australian cockroaches can live for as many as 10 years and can grow more than three inches in length. These cockroaches aren’t as hated as ones elsewhere. They get credit for breaking down dead leaves and even become pets.
8. Atlas Moths
Atlas moths’ wingspan can stretch out at least a foot and the area can extend more than 60 square inches. Atlas caterpillars can exceed being an inch thick and cocoons have been turned into purses. The atlas moth can mostly be found in tropical areas. It’s the biggest moth in the world, making atlas a fitting name considering Atlas in Greek mythology was one of the Titans.
7. Tarantula Hawk
The tarantula hawk is actually a wasp that hunts and feeds on tarantulas, a tasty treat for the wasps’ rather large children. Hooks on the ends of their legs help them catch their pray, and their sting’s among the most painful in the world. It’s one insect you don’t want to corner.
6. Titan Beetle
The titan beetle is one of the biggest insects in the world, rivaling the hercules beetle. Unlike the hercules beetle, which has a large horn on its thorax that makes up half of its length, the body of the titan beetle is larger. The largest titan beetle found was nearly 7 inches in length. Its sharp mandibles can snap pencils in two and are sharp enough to slice into human flesh. Titan beetles found in Central and South America, feed on decaying wood on the jungle floor. Larvae, never seen, are believed to feed inside the wood.
5. Giant Camel Spiders
Giant camel spiders are arachnids but are actually not spiders, instead belonging to the solifuge arachnid family. About a third of their body are taken up by their jaws, which can eat anything from insects to lizards, snakes, and rodents. These critters can climb trees, scale walls and run as fast as 10 mph. They aren’t venomous and can be found around the world. If they are chasing people, it’s likely to use their shadow to get a break from the sun.
4. Giant Walking Sticks
Giant walking sticks, among the biggest insects in the world, are considered the longest. Their bodies look like twigs or branches of a tree, a clever camouflage that helps them avoid predators. Giant walking sticks feed on plants. Giant walking sticks in Southeast Asia can grow as long as two feet.
3. Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing
Queen Alexandra’s birdwing, only found in remote New Guinea, has a wingspan of more than a foot. It’s the world’s largest butterfly, making the already endangered insect a prize to butterfly collectors.
2. Japanese Giant Hornet
The Japanese Giant Hornet can measure ore than 1.8 inches long with a wingspan of more than 2.4 inches. Its venom attacks the nervous system. Its venom isn’t the deadliest, tested on mice and found to be less lethal than the deadliest wasp venom, but it injects plenty of venoms and causes a sting that can be very painful and may require hospitalization. Its sting causes 30 to 40 deaths each year in Japan.
1. Giant Weta
The giant weta’s been around since the dinosaurs. These New Zealand insects include more than 70 species, including 16 that are endangered. Considered the heaviest insect, their weight can rival that of a sparrow. A giant weta can grow up to three inches and weigh up to 1.5 ounces. A former park ranger found a giant weta weighing about 2.5 ounces on Little Barrier Island, where he fed it a carrot before releasing it to the wild.