No, That Is Not A Monster Tick With Lobster Claws Invading Your Home.
100% pure nightmare fuel. Tell me I'm wrong.
Have you ever been told about an insect or animal that you've never heard of before, only to find out in the same breath, that it may be living in your house, right now? Well, that is quite possibly happening as you read this. The first time I saw one of these critters, I immediately got kinda squeamish, maybe even a bit terrified.
Now granted, it's tiny AF, but it basically looks like a tick that has mini lobster claws, or some kind of clawed tick, like someone on Reddit thought. I didn't ever want to know this creature was real. Even in this photo, it looks like it's just waiting there patiently, to send you to heaven.... Like a speck of evil just waiting to be unleashed.
They are actually referred to book scorpions.
To be fair, their proper science-y name is a pseudoscorpion. They feed on the even smaller bugs that live in the pages of your books, like book lice or dust mites. Rest assured, they are 100% harmless. Will they give you nightmares? Yes. Can they hurt you? No. But, they also can provide you with a certain amount of totally free pest control. Here's how Scientific American describes the situation:
...old books also happen to contain delicious booklice and dust mites.... This arrangement works because old book-makers used to bind books using a starch-based glue that booklice and dust mites love....
Here's a clearer photo:
See what I mean? It's like a micro-lobster, ready to do you in! If you go further into the same article, it also gets into the super bizarre reproductive processes of the little buggers. It involves a lot of dancing, posturing, and scent leaving. Bizarre rituals for such small creatures. But hey, is it really any different than most human mating rituals?!
If you do see any of these critters around your books/house, there's absolutely nothing to fear. But you will never convince me that if they were any bigger, that they don't mean us any harm. Just like your kitty cat would hunt you down if it was the size of a lion. Sometimes size does matter. Thankfully, in this case, the smaller....the better!