Natural selection has no qualms about churning out creatures that look like they were pulled straight from the drippy side of a dark and twisted imagination. Giant woodlice with empty eyes roam deep-sea floors searching for feasts of fresh flesh. The blob-like Bryozoan moves and grows thanks to some kind of bizarre hive mind developed amongst its constituent members. And the bigfin squid is simply an H.P. Lovecraft monster come to life. ( Really, it is.)
Now we can add to the list of incredibly creepy crawlies the Creatonotos gangis, or the insect that looks like a brain-infecting alien parasite.
The thing you’re looking at right now, as you simultaneously praying it doesn’t exist in your area, is actually a harmless moth. Footage and pictures of it are quite rare though, so when Indonesian Facebook user Gandik posted the above video of one to his timeline, it immediately went viral. In the clip, we get a roughly half-minute glance at a male specimen of the Creatonotos gangis species. How do we know it’s male, you ask? Because those four relatively gigantic appendages sprung from its body like some Doctor Octopus arms are coremata, or pheromone emitters that only the males have.
(Creatonotos gangis) pic.twitter.com/nyjbdaiuAl
— World of Wildlife (@WofWildlife) October 20, 2017
The coremata, or “hair-pencils,” are appendages which, in the case of the male Creatonotos gangis, are hidden away underneath its abdomen. They’re inflated and used to spew pheromones when a female is detected in the vicinity, and they do so, in part, by undulating so the scent is thrown into the air. In the clip, it seems like the specimen recorded is doing just that. (If you start to feel the need to gag, here’s a trick: think about anything but “hair-pencils.”)The Creatonotos gangis with its hair-pencils retracted. Image: Wikimedia / Goldentakin
Now getting back to that whole, where do these things live again? question, you’re basically looking at a huge swathe of Southeast Asia, as well as parts of Australia. But let’s be honest, if you’re living in Australia, this harmless moth is the least of your concerns. Unless you dare to stare as its hair-pencils undulate, in which case it may take control of your mind.
What do you think about this horrifying moth? Are you really wishing you’d never heard the term “hair-pencil” now? Give us your thoughts in the comments below!
Images: Facebook / Gandik