Get ready to chug some stardust—Astroberfest gives you all the right reasons to blastoff and not feel ashamed. Celebrate cosmic wonders: explore dark articles about celestial ghosts, or sip upon the intoxicating aspects of reality. Shivering never felt so good.
Let’s begin right here at home. Earth.
A Monster Lives in My Backyard
Most people believe monsters don’t exist. Those people are stupid. Don’t listen to them. Step outside your front door. Go on…if you got the guts. Don’t let the pretty sunshine fool your senses into believing everything is okay.
Everything is not okay.
Mommy told you that scary monsters hide in your closet, or underneath your bed, right? Mommy lied to you—real monsters thrive under the sweet pressure of golden sunshine. Opossums hangout in the dark…when was the last time someone was scared of an opossum? Think about it. Never trust something that plays dead.
Are you ready to shiver and bite your fingernails? Here’s your ticket to the freak show.
Hidden right in front of your eyes…these…ummm…things will snatch ya and suck ya dry, and you won’t even know what happened. Why? Because you’d be dead! They use their hook-like arms to grab scrumptious bees. Evil? Of course. Effective? Hell yes. Take a look at those menacing pupils and ask yourself if you’d survive a face-to-face encounter.
Assassins carry daggers, however, assassin bugs don’t need to carry daggers—their specialized mouthpart was biologically forged to impale through exoskeletons. These deadly straws suck up the jelly innards, and when it’s not stuck inside a yellow jacket’s forehead, assassin bugs keep their dagger-straw secretly tucked away.
Assassin bugs prove that you can’t even trust a damn flower! They’ll sit and wait. And wait. And wait. And then wait some more. And when they’re done waiting, they’ll go ahead and wait until the Sun is tired. Waiting is an assassin bug’s most deadly weapon. Apparently.
Phymatinae are technically called ‘ambush bugs’, and now you know why.
Eye See You
They say the universe is a boring place to live. No evidence of extraterrestrial life exists, so does that mean we’re really alone? Of course!…not.
Bizarre entities call Earth their home, but we just ignore them. If the little green bastards can’t pilot a flying saucer, well…they must be boring or unsophisticated, which are two character qualities real aliens don’t possess. Obviously.
Are we still on planet Earth? These
aliens insects crawl out of the ground like zombies, and then attach themselves to trees, you know…kind of like a nasty holiday ornament. Cicadas burst from the seems and literally emerge out of its former self. Don’t believe me? Go nuke a bag of popcorn, sit back, then smack the play button.
Are you done vomiting? The nightmares will come later. Sorry. Cicadas might be using your humble abode to…I don’t know…do whatever it is cicadas do. Cicada nymphs attach to walls, railings, steps, ceilings, window screens, and then burst from the seems. Cicadas don’t cleanup after themselves, either. Morbid relics are left behind—shells of their former self. If there’s a life lessons to be learned, well, I’ll leave that up to you to figure out.
Cicadas are equipped with three red eyes (ocelli) toward the center of their head, because two compound eyes are simply not enough.
Male cicadas are like obnoxious boomboxes—they hangout on the top of trees and blare their musical abdomen. Unique organs allow male cicadas to generate an ear-piercing song, because louder is better (right, ladies?).
I’ll Eat Your Grains
Ancient prophecies claim that our grains are in danger. A true apocalypse is not complete without a locust swarm, so farmers now have a perfectly good reason to shit their overalls. Imagine a cloud of flying zombies, but instead of feeding on brains, they feed on grains. Massive swarms ensure everyone gets a bite, that way individual loners don’t starve to death.
Harsh environments provoke locusts to become a band of insects, because a group is more likely to discover edible vegetation, especially compared to a solitary soldier.
Locusts and grasshoppers are pretty much the same monster, however, specific behavioral traits are only associated with locusts. Grasshoppers are not inclined to join a massive gang, and they also don’t fly. A typical locust shares all the qualities of a grasshopper, but they’re inclined to join a massive gang (gregarious phase), and then wage war against an innocent field of wheat. No big deal. Oh…and they can also fly. Big deal.
Starving to death is scary.
Modern people forage through a well-stocked grocery store, but our ancestors had to forage through Mother Nature’s pantry, and sometimes the pickings were slim. Real monsters have six legs and eat plants—not humans. If a village or farmer lost their food supply, then everyone would have nothing to eat but their own agony, and that doesn’t taste very good.
Locusts also have the inherent ability to fly, which is a physical characteristic generally not associated with grasshoppers. Locusts appear to be tan or brown, while grasshoppers prefer to wear a more stylish color palette.
The universe may or may not be full of life, however, there’s enough variety to go around. If you want to find a monster, look underneath a flower petal. Not your bed. Welcome to Earth.
Say cheers and blastoff to Astroberfest! The celestial kegs are tapped: keep your mug full of stardust.
Written and photographed
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