They build cities. They farm. They make war. Ants do a lot of things that seem uncannily human — and yet they’re profoundly alien, part of a hive mind called a social organism. What does that feel like to each individual ant? Now a new scientific paper suggests that there is always doubt in the hive mind. »
It’s just not right. Adult humans should not have to fear monsters. But how in the world will the world ever sleep again after knowing that this terrifying radiator fluid-looking worm goo thing exists? Can humanity survive after seeing this? Just look at the sludge bug shoots out its pink dart and you’ll only dream… »
The twinkly flashing lights of fireflies are a classic sign of summer, but the insects aren’t blinking for your aesthetic benefit. They’re courting in an absolutely cutthroat meet market, and some scientists are afraid that human activities could be making it harder for them to succeed. This summer, you can help… »
NASA’s been studying the way bugs splatter for years. Those gooey speckles of black and red might be gross to you, but to aerospace engineers, they’re a riddle that’s plagued the industry for decades. Yes, bug guts. »
If anything in nature could be creepier than cockroaches, it would be zombie cockroaches, so good thing those don’t exist, right? Right? Actually, they do exist, thanks to the terrifying work of the dementor wasp. I’m never going outside again. »
We’ve been breeding the fly Drosophila melanogaster in the lab for decades. We’ve tinkered with their genes — giving them extra legs, curly wings, or odd colored eyes – in pursuit of understanding genetic inheritance and how tissues develop. But until now we didn’t know which chemical made them start to mate. »
Crab lice (Pthirus pubis) aren’t crabs at all—they’re parasitic insects that feed exclusively on human blood, and their bites can cause intense itching in their hosts. Often, this itching happens in the pubic area, which is why they’re also known as “pubic lice”—which, it turns out, is actually a misnomer. »
When it’s time for sex, many plants literally tap into animal appetites, attracting them with the promise of sugar and smearing them with pollen while they eat. But if you’re going to rely on a third party for sex, you need some really good advertising. One recent study has identified a plant that makes a beacon out… »
30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC each year, making it the most common vector-borne disease in America. Both you and your dog are exposed to it every time you’re outdoors. It can block your heart, cause intense pain and, sometimes, even lead to death. And reported cases are on the rise.
I no longer want to live in this world anymore because I don’t want to share it with this utterly terrifying ribbon worm that has the ability to spit out an even more terrifying web-shaped goo. The way the substance stretches across that person’s hand just makes me want to never ever go outside again. »
Some species of moth can produce ultrasonic emissions that confuse echolocating bats, and they do it by rubbing their sex organs together.
In 2004, Brooke Borel got bed bugs in New York. Then she experienced them again in 2009—twice in two different apartments. Because of those experiences, which were part of a widespread bed bug resurgence in the US, Borel, a science journalist, decided to explore why the bugs were back. This excerpt is one of many… »
Bed bug infestations are a nightmare. The tiny, assholish insects can resist all sorts of measures to kill them completely. Drawn-out infestations are a scourge, but also fairly common in big cities like New York. There are plenty of remedies, from all-natural bean leaves to special heated suitcases, but none are… »
Bugs and rats have lived for centuries in a deadlocked battle for the title of Worst Pest in NYC, but the scientists behind a new study may have just dealt bug fans a decisive victory by proving how urban insects are our friends—or, more specifically, our garbage . »
Controlling cockroaches with electrical 'backpacks' is one of those science experiments that's simultaneously quite cool and ethically grey. What might make you feel better, though, is the knowledge that those remote-controlled cockroaches may save your life if you ever get trapped inside a burning building. »
This is a blister beetle photographed with a Macropod—"a low cost, portable, three-dimensional imaging solution" that allows scientists to break the depth of field limitations typical of macro photography by taking multiple exposures and merging them into a single ultra-sharp image using software. »