When he sent me the pic, his only comment was, "What are those things sticking out of the front of his face? Guns?" He's totally right. Tell me that doesn't look like something that should be running around on Tatooine.
Or maybe destroying Tokyo:
Look at those claws. Those freakin' eyes. That has to be the ugliest bug ever. It was completely empty, and light as onion skin. Vidna had no idea what it was either, so I told him to send me the picture and I'd find out. I figured it was the skin left by the nymph stage of... well... something, but I had no idea what.
I know there's a few smarty-pantses out there who already know what it is, but I'll admit I had to google it. I started googling "clawed insect" and "crab claws on bug" and I was coming up empty. Then I googled "empty shell of bug with claws" or something close to that, and got a hit. Turns out it's a cicada nymph exoskeleton. Jesus. Just look at it. Could that thing get any uglier?
So I did some reading, and apparently being a cicada means you live a pretty shitty life. First, you're so ugly that you stay underground for 17 years sucking juice out of a root. That's like the bug equivalent of being unemployed and sitting in a crappy apartment with no TV, eating ramen noodles all day. For 17 years.
Then, you finally get up the nerve to come to the surface. You look around and see the butterflies flitting by, and think to yourself...soon.....soon I will be beautiful and free like them! You grab onto a tree and strain at your exoskeleton, and you hear it crack -- and you feel the cool, summer night air rush in. You finally emerge triumphant, ready to be all you can be, and ....
you look like this.
I guess as long as you stay away from mirrors, it's all good. Besides, the females look just like you so you know you've got a decent shot at getting lucky. You have to set the bar pretty low to be a loser cicada. So you suck it up, do your best impersonation of Brian Johnson singing a high C over and over, then you mate, and then you die.
17 years down the crapper so you can honk your vuvuzela for a few days and have sex with something that's as ugly as you are.
And if that's not bad enough, there's this final indignity.
What I want to know is, how does it leave everything behind in such perfect condition? Right down to the antennae and the legs. I wish I could get undressed like that every night. I'd never had to iron another shirt as long as I lived.