We’ll kick things off with this monster, it’s a Titan beetle.
The Titan is one of the world’s largest beetles and is found in the South American rainforests, it grows up to 15cm (6 in) long. The insect’s ferocious looking mandibles are said to be strong enough to snap through pencils, quite what they’re used for is a mystery, as the adult beetles don’t actually eat. All the adults do is fly around looking for a mate.
The larvae are extremely difficult to find, but bore holes in trees suggest that the juvenile Titan is a two-inch-thick, foot-long maggot. Yummy.
Fortunately for most of us this terrifying looking critter is only found on New Zealand, tough break Kiwis.
The ugly bugger is a giant weta, a kind of huge cricket or grasshopper. The giant wetas are supposed to have come about due to New Zealand’s lack of land mammals, until humans arrived there. A phenomenon known as island gigantism meant that some ugly invertebrates filled the space in the food chain by the lack of land mammals, so the wetas evolved into 50g crickets over 10cm long filling a similar role to what mice do in the rest of the world.
Giant wetas are vegetarian, but they can still give you a nasty bite if they don’t like the look of you.