The 5 Most Horrifying Bugs in the World

We don’t like posts that simply link to other sites because we want you to hang out here. We picture you sitting at home in a bathrobe, drinking coffee, wearing bunny slippers and chortling with an English accent as you peruse Zooillogix. Sometimes we have to make exceptions though…

This article in Cracked is crude, profanity laced, unscientific and utterly hilarious. Check it out here.

For those of you too lazy to click your mouse on the link, we have reposted one of the five below.

There are about 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 insects on earth at any given moment. Seriously, that’s a real number. For every one of us, there are 1.5 billion bugs.

But some of them are so horrifying, just one is too many. Here are five you want to avoid at all costs.
Japanese Giant Hornet (vespa mandarinia japonica)


From: Japan, obviously.

Why you must fear it:
It’s the size of your thumb and it can spray flesh-melting poison. We really wish we were making that up for, you know, dramatic effect because goddamn, what a terrible thing a three-inch acid-shooting hornet would be, you know? Oh, hey, did we mention it shoots it into your eyes? Or that the poison also has a pheromone cocktail in it that’ll call every hornet in the hive to come over and sting you until you are no longer alive?

Think you can outrun it? It can fly 50 miles in a day. It’d be nice to say something reassuring at this point, like “Don’t worry, they only live on top of really tall mountains where nobody wants to live,” but no, they live all over the goddamned place, including outside Tokyo.

Forty people die like that every year, each of them horribly.

More scary shit:
Here’s how the Japanese hornet treats other insects (and would presumably treat us, if we were small enough). An adult hornet will fly miles to find some squishy shit to feed to its children. Often times, it finds its food in, say, a hive inhabited by thousands of bees.

What to do? Well, Vespa japonica sprays the nest with some of the acid/pheromone and brings in reinforcements, usually consisting of 30 or so fellow hornets. They then descend upon the beehive like an unholy plague of hell-born death engines and proceed to make this world a scary goddamned place. This is maybe 30 wasps against 30,000 bees and the 30,000 bees do not stand a chance.

Behold the hornets systematically seize them with huge, wicked jaws and literally f-ing cut them apart, one by one by one by f-ing one. In three hours, there are piles of limbs and heads and just f-ing bits of things that could possibly have been alive at one point, and the hornets have stormed the hive and flown away with all the bee’s children. Who will then be eaten.

Thanks to Josh Attenberg for the info.


  1. #1 Ed Yong
    January 25, 2008

    But bees ain’t goin’ out like no punks – different populations have at least two different defences against hornets and presumably get together at conventions to argue over whose is the most awesome. One lot piles on the hornets, vibrate their wing muscles and bake the hornet to death. The other lot also pile on to the hornet so tightly that it can’t pump its abdomen and it chokes to death. It’s like Mike Tyson being gang-piled and strangled by army of oompa-loompas.

  2. #2 matthew
    January 25, 2008

    They are truely the Spartans of the insect world.


  3. #3 Snail
    January 25, 2008

    Holy crap! What would Chuck Norris do?

  4. #4 Lassi Hippelinen
    January 26, 2008

    A roundhouse kick.

  5. #5 Bee
    January 26, 2008

    I had a certain innocent fondness for bees and wasps and hornets, despite a few stings here and there, before I read this.

    Am rethinking visiting Japan, as well. Still…


  6. #6 [GBG]
    January 26, 2008

    Chuck Norris would probably want the “science” of how god created the hornet taught in science class.

    That is some bad ass insect though… And props (do kids still say that?) to the guy who is letting it sit on his hand.

  7. #7 horrobin
    January 26, 2008

    Holy crap! What would Chuck Norris do?

    Cry like a baby as his body goes into anaphylactic shock from dozens of stings. Seriously, can we call an end to this Chuck Norris joke-meme?

    And props (do kids still say that?) to the guy who is letting it sit on his hand.

    “Jesus Christ, can’t move hand…can’t move hand…oh, god…”

  8. #8 tinyfrog
    January 26, 2008

    There are some YouTube videos on the Japanese Giant Hornet. Here’s how Japanese Honey Bees defeat it:

  9. #9 Joshua
    January 26, 2008

    “We picture you sitting at home in a bathrobe, drinking coffee, wearing bunny slippers and chortling with an English accent as you peruse Zooillogix.”

    Actually, that’s a dressing gown, tea, and the slippers don’t have bunnies on them, but close! (I’m not English, but I do chortle with an English accent, so I’ll grant you that point.)

  10. #10 Crazyharp81602
    January 26, 2008

    I’ve seen footages like that on TV when I was watching nature shows such as on National Geographic Channel and the Discovery Channel. These hornets are really something to make us feel glad we don’t live in areas where the Giant hornet lives.

  11. #11 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    January 26, 2008

    Note that it’s European honey bees that the hornets annihilate. The Japanese honey bees have evolved with these six legged dragons and will attempt to swarm each one with a large ball of worker bees. They then generate heat which they can tolerate but which kills the wasps.

    Hey, wouldn’t it be great to import some of these, just to scare people with…

    Kidding, just kidding.

  12. #12 Jeremy
    January 26, 2008

    I’ve seen these critters on Japanese tv. It’s scary. Watching the exterminators go at them is crazy. Even those guys are afraid to get too close. They wait til the hornets are asleep and then fog them and bag up the entire hive to dispose of it.

    Come to think of it, my school had an area where some of these lived, and we couldn’t open the windows in the middle of summer because they’d fly it and buzz around, sending the students flying.

  13. #13 AbsolutelyNOFaith
    January 27, 2008

    This explains it all! There is a famous scroll painting, one of the oldest Japanese paintings around, that shows scenes from the Buddhist Hells as envisioned by the Japanese. One of them is people drowning in a pool of boiling pus and if they try and come to the surface, there are giant hornets waiting for them. I always assumed they were going to sting them, but now I know it’s much, much worse. It’s from the Heian or Kamakura period but I can’t seem to find a copy in my books or online. I used it all the time when I taught this stuff way back when.

  14. #14 Dustin
    January 27, 2008

    Oh no, how could you fail to mention the amazing way the Japanese Honey Bees defend themselves?! That’s the *coolest* part of all! (No pun intended for those who know what I’m talking about. For those who don’t, watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUQt6TP2ank)

  15. #15 Dustin
    January 27, 2008

    Oops, you’ll want to delete that last “)” in the link. Or just click on the link posted above in another comment.

  16. #16 Sophist, FCD
    January 27, 2008

    Oh, great. Now I’m going to spend the rest of the day under my desk, curled in a fetal position quietly whimpering. Thanks a lot.

  17. #17 Liesele
    January 28, 2008

    Years ago I read an account from a Central American entomologist about how he experienced a botfly maggot emerge from his own flesh while he was at a baseball game. 20 years later it still revolts me. Thanks for bringing back fond memories. Just remember never to piss off the insects. I’ll be with Sophist, curled up and whimpering now.

  18. #18 fishdinner
    January 28, 2008

    Chuck Norris would die horribly, screaming and whimpering under a pile of hornets.

  19. #19 Nomen Nescio
    January 28, 2008

    this is one of those few animals that actually make me wonder why we haven’t made them extinct yet. eewww.

  20. #20 Jenbug
    January 29, 2008

    Wow, I remember when Cracked was just a blatant rip-off magazine of MAD, but they’ve had some pretty awesome articles on their site. Yet they’ve got some consistently awesome stuff up on their site!

    *spoken from under the desk, in between whimpers and sobs*

  21. Very nice article. I really liked it a lot and it gave me a few good pointers

  22. #22 BobbyEarle
    June 19, 2008

    These Japanese hornet muthas remind me of my ex-wife.

    And bunny slippers? Listen up, pal…I be an evilutionist.
    I wear Chuckie Darwin slippers.

    The beard itches a bit…

  23. #23 ankara evden eve nakliyat
    July 17, 2008

    thank you mersi

  24. #24 Guncel Saglik
    January 5, 2010

    Very nice article. I really liked it a lot and it gave me a few good pointers

  25. #25 mario
    January 9, 2010

    What a great idea! I’m so blogging this 😉

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