What is that big, nasty thing?

The other day I was out near the mall, and I saw this absolutely huge bug just hanging out in the parking lot. I had no idea what it was, but it was enormous, and totally gross. Then I was cruising through Facebook and Reddit, and saw the same exact thing I'd seen at the mall. Everyone was posting pics on social media over the weekend.

It's Latin-y science name is Belostomatidae, according to UMaine. It's also known as the "toe-biter" or "giant water bug". It's huge, gross, ugly looking, and scary. And again, it bites you! Nevermind that crazy jaw, just look at that ridiculous mouth-stinger thingie:

Photo: YouTube via Brave Wilderness
Photo: YouTube via Brave Wilderness

They literally look like the giant bugs from Starship Troopers. Blech...

Truth be told, it's not a sting, officially. It sticks that barb into your flesh, and eats (insert vomit emoji here). Then, it's saliva enters your body in that spot, and the toxin, though it isn't powerful enough to do us any real harm, stings like crazy, as you can see in the video below. I could've lived my whole life, never knowing these things are here in my back yard. Well, kind of.

You're only going to find them near damp, marshy, wetland type areas. Bonus if there's a light source in the area, because they're extremely attracted to light. And where I was out by the mall, there was definitely a little marshy spot right nearby, and huge flood lights. Literally, the perfect storm.

So, you're not gonna die. And though it stings pretty bad I guess. But I wouldn't really worry. Just watch out for your kids. If I were six years old, and got stung by something that looked like a miniature man-eater, I'd probably scream too.

Do you think any of these myths are true?

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