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Link - article by Avi Abrams

The Treehopper "Helicopter" from the Steamy Jungles of your Mind

Sure, Salvador Dali came up with some lovely surreal forms in his art, but this thing blows them all out of the water. Seen in Berlin's Museum of Natural History, this is the Brazilian Treehopper, or Bocydium globulare - a real living insect, which only pretends to be an alien helicopter:

(a replica of Bocydium globulare made by Alfred Keller for Berlin's Naturkundemuseum)

Its other name is "The Bell Bearer"; the "Globulare" part of its Latin moniker stands for these utterly bizarre spheroids on the top (they are not antennae!).

(image credit: Patrick Landmann)

It's obvious why many people have wondered if Mr. Keller (who did many replicas for Berlin's Museum of Natural History in the 1950s) did not just come up with this replica from his imagination. It is truly hard to believe that such a thing can exist on Earth. And yet it does, together with other weirdly-shaped Membracids (relative to cicadas), shown below.

(image credit: Nick Currie)

Other insect replicas by Alfred Keller were damaged or lost during the Second World War, but this sculpture was preserved by Berlin's Naturkundemuseum - a perfect find for modern concept artists and game designers!

We've shown you some bizarre insects before (see Best Bugs in the Universe for example), but seeing Bocydium globulare may very well re-define your concepts of what constitutes "weird" in nature:

(image credit: Vera Wald)

Patrick Landmann shows some more of these weird cicada-related creatures:

(images credit: Patrick Landmann/Lightmediation)

More Specimens from the Surreal Insects Gallery:

Orchid mantis is shy... but pleased to meet you:

(image credit: Igor Siwanowicz, click to enlarge)

Offer it bits of a banana, it loves to nibble on bananas. (more info)

Here is Ctenomorpha Chronus, a stick creature from your not-so-peaceful dreams... It can be downright disturbing when you mistake it for a branch and decide to idly brush it off:

(image via)

The "chronus" part in its name probably stems from the fact that it resembles long, sporadically moving clock hands... "The abdomen contains numerous spots. Each segment is tipped with black colouration" - also somewhat similar to clock markings.

The Mole Cricket looks like it was loosely glued together from two disparate, unrelated halves:

(image via)

Its forearms are perfectly fit for digging subterranean tunnels, plus it can fly eight kilometers, if it wants to.

A furry, hairy, cuddly caterpillar (actually a larvae of Southern Flannel Moth): Megalopyge opercularis from Brazil -

(image credit: Maria)

See it crawling on the floor in this video.

A similarly cuddly hairy creature is the appropriately named (and sinister) Puss Caterpillar. It looks innocent and fluffy enough that many kids and adults would happily pick them up, only to find... "the numerous sharp, venom-laden spines, hidden beneath its luxuriant coat of soft hairs"! These venomous spines cause excruciating, unrelenting pain, quickly spreading into the chest, sometimes leading to suffocation.

(images via)

Look at its lovely little "teeth":

(images credit: Dennis Totin. more here)

Finally, here is a picture of a biggest grasshopper ever:

Lucky for us all, this old photograph is the early example of a "fake" photo-manipulation job. (Sighs with relief...)


Also read: "Deadly Carnivorous Plants" ->



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Anonymous Jake said...

Thank you...I think...for these wonderful and semi-disturbing pictures. Sadly, I'm pretty sure all of these bugs actually live in my backyard. Or at least their near-relatives do, and they seem to like nothing better than dropping in on cookouts on our back deck.

Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Haha, Jake, sad to hear of your unwelcome guests... they like your cookouts so much that they even contacted our site to spread the word about them.

Anonymous Nick Hide said...

Thanks to the Brazilian Treehopper insect, I can't eat strawberries any more...

Blogger chrischaos said...

if i ever seen any of these in real life i would kill them with fire instantly. ffs

Blogger Phoebe Dancing Cat said...

Cicadas are strange enough--never mind their odd cousins.

If I understand correctly, they burrow underground and hibernate for seventeen years! That is an entire life time for a cat.

And they're so loud! ^--^


Blogger Tot said...

wait.. im brazilian.. should i be scared? lol jk. but stil... i've never heard anything about this 'thing' im glad i live far away from amazonia and all that crap. i cant stand insects..spiders.. especially the bizarre ones

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I especially like the "fake" at the end. Very cool blog! Here is a funny one http://www.creativedevolution.com/


Anonymous AlCorrupt said...

I remember finding a nest of at least 10 mole crickets at the base of a tree, in the school playground. i was about 8 and they scared the sh#t outta me. had to be at least 2" long.

Blogger Rachelle said...

You had me going on this one. This is a scrumptiously deelishis post!


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