Have You Seen This Horrific Acid-Shooting Texas Land-Lobster?
The recent rains have brought some serious complications into the lives of folks in the ArkLaTex. Flooding is the primary concern, especially with more precipitation in the forecast - but it certainly isn't the strangest or the creepiest side effect to the overabundance of water in our environment. That title goes to the almost-otherworldly sightings near Big Bend National Park.
According to the National Parks Service and a report from KSAT, the rains have caused a certain nocturnal (meaning that it sleeps during the day in order to hunt at night) creature to emerge in the daylight to find sustenance - and the very sight of this land-lobster thing has been terrifying visitors. What you see above is a Tailless Whipscorpion, and it's commonly known as a Vinegaroon.
Although it looks scary enough with those gigantic claws and midnight black exoskeleton - the most infamous weapon in its arsenal is an honest-to-badness acid cannon. This arachnid has something its spider and scorpion cousins don't - the ability to precisely fire a concentrated stream of 85% acetic acid (vinegar) from its hind parts (pictured below).
YouTube animal expert Coyote Peterson encounters one in its natural habitat in the video below. You can see the creepy crawly in action at the 2:36 mark.
Experts say that this devil bug doesn't really pose a threat to humans, even though they also said it would hurt like hell to get pinched by those overpowered and very spiky claws (which are technically "mouth parts" by the way). Their acid-spray-attack ranges from deadly weapon for potential prey to effective deterrent for predators - but it shouldn't cause more than a mild, vinegar-smelling skin irritation for people.
They are supposedly one of those "good bugs" because they hunt pests like millipedes, cockroaches, and the like. I'm not sure how much "help" they'll be when the mere sight of them could give you a heart attack!
As if seeing one wasn't enough, park officials are actually encouraging you to take a closer look! They say if you are lucky enough to see one, and get close - you may discover that you are looking at a female. That's actually easy to determine as they will have their babies crawling all over their back! Yay for nature!