The world of bugs and insects is as magnificent as it is terrifying. When it comes to the small variants we’re usually okay in dealing with them, but most people prefer when the bigger bugs stay a safe distance away. And by safe distance, we mean “stay still in eyesight but give me enough room to start running if you move.” But since you clicked on this article, you’re probably someone that doesn’t mind the occasional creepy critter and you’re thrilled to join our ride through the wonderful world of big bugs.

This probably goes without saying, but some of these critters are not going to be for the faint of heart. You’ve been warned.

Goliath Beetle

If you ever run into one of these in the African rainforests, you’ll instantly find out why it’s named the way it is. The goliath beetle can grow to a size of 10 cm but they usually stick to their own thing and just eat tree sap and fruit all day. Sounds like a healthy diet!

Tarantula Hawk Wasp

While this wasp may not be as big as some of the other creatures on this list with a size of only 5 cm, it deserves a spot for being the biggest wasp and getting its name because it literally hunts and kills tarantulas. Also, this cute lady paralyzes its prey, pops a single egg in it and then lets the larva eat the victim. 

Atlas Beetle

This 13 cm long subtype of rhinoceros beetle can be found in Indonesia and, like all rhino beetles, can be pretty fiesty and aggressive if you run into one. You can find the reason for its name in the fact that its mandibles look like they could hold up the sky, much like Atlas had to. 

Macrodontia cervicornis

This big boy can measure up to 17 cm and might join you on a hike through the rainforests in South America. The mandibles look like they’d be capable to chop a finger off, so you may not want to pet it if you run into one. I’m not sure if these beetles eat fingers, but are we really willing to take our chances?

Giant Water Bug

I know, I was expecting a more fabulous name as well. The simplicity of it does make it very easy to instantly know what you’re getting: this bug lives in water, and is giant. It can grow up to 12 cm in length and is also known as a “toe biter” because it will pinch your toes if you get too close to it.

Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing

Butterflies usually don’t scare people, but this one has a wingspan of a whopping 25 cm. If you catch this colorful fellow flying your way in eastern Papua New Guinea, no one will blame you for running. Just don’t swat it out of the sky, as it’s endangered.

Phryganistria chinensis Zhao

This fabulous beast, despite being the largest on this list by a long shot, was only discovered in 2016. It’s a stick insect that can grow up to 62 cm in size, and when it was discovered even its smallest offspring measured over 25 cm. So far it’s only been found in China, more specifically in the Guangxi Zhuang region.

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