What is it about horror movies and monsters that intrigues us so much? I certainly love a good scare and revel in giant, blood-thirsty creatures tearing up naive teens on the big screen. And that’s what Halloween is all about – celebrating the dark side of life (i.e. death). However, I think this love affair with morbidity is the result of us being relatively large animals at the top of the food chain. I guarantee that if we were the size of most insects, horror films would be labeled documentaries. These organisms face monsters we cannot ever imagine.
The following are portraits of a few of the terrors that await our tiny, spineless friends (along with a few we or other vertebrates should be afraid of, despite their diminutive size).
Spiders: Scary to us, deadly to our small neighbors
Spiders are a universal symbol of creepiness. They have all the right ingredients: usually hairy, lots of eyes and legs, and (of course) large venomous fangs. Although most people have never been bitten by a spider (despite their commonness), we still intrinsically fear them. Our encounters with them rarely end up threatening our existence, but we still shriek when we walk through a web or see one race across our floor. This all seems like an overreaction compared to what insects (and even other spiders!) face when encountering these master killers. Whether caught in a sticky web of death, or run down and pounced on with powerful fangs, our small cousins have it bad sometimes…