Halloween is that one time of year when you can dress however you want -- scary, silly, sexy, chillingly unsexy -- and nobody will judge you. (Unless you enter some sort of contest, in which case you're really just bringing it on yourself.) Candy binging, alcohol poisoning, questionable hook-ups -- truly, Halloween is a magical day. Which is why some animals choose to celebrate it 24/7 ...
#6. Pink Underwing Moth Caterpillar (Going as a Voodoo Warrior)
Pink underwing moths come from the subtropical rain forests of Australia, and even though they aren't poisonous and lack ravenous fangs, they still found a way to be horrifying and do their native land proud. In its earliest larval stages, the caterpillar relies on crypsis to avoid predators, which basically means that it impersonates a dead leaf. But as the moths mature, they develop into what we see here, because hiding from your enemies isn't nearly as fun as scaring the crap out of them, Scooby-Doo villain style.
"Look, gang, Old Man Fetal Butterfly was the monster all along!"
It really is a mask, too: The whole thing is part of the creature's dorsum, and its actual head is shielded underneath. When threatened, the caterpillar raises its dorsum like a dog raises its hackles. The big, black, vacant "eyes," plus the chattering skull markings that surround them, create a nightmarish face that warns any would-be predators that they might want to back the hell away so quickly that their legs spin comically in place.
The voodoo caterpillar better thank its lucky stars that everybody's afraid of it, because it can't actually hurt anything except Carronia multisepalea, a rare type of vine that is literally the only thing it eats. Also, the vine is disappearing, and thus so is the caterpillar, implying that perhaps their mojo is not so powerful after all.
#5. Spiny Orb Weaver (Going as a Skulltula from The Legend of Zelda)
Meet the spiny orb weaver. Now, good ol' Spiny up there doesn't need to dress up as anything scary; it's a spider. Just by existing, it has already made the world a slightly worse place. Instead, SOW likes to dress up in a fashion that honors its nerdy Nintendo fandom:
We checked three times to make sure this wasn't a portrait of Michael Fassbender.
That's a Skulltula from the Legend of Zelda series. If you don't recognize the character, try picturing it dropping down from the ceiling right as you prime yourself for a difficult jump, causing you to clumsily fall down a pit and start over from a checkpoint 20 minutes back. Although Skulltula is its technical name, you may know it better simply as "You rotten bastard!"
Or maybe we're giving it too much credit. Maybe the orb weaver doesn't have much of an imagination and it's just going as some lame regular skeleton, like the guys who go to Halloween parties as "a mummy" or "a Dracula." Maybe it's a Misfits fan. Heck, maybe it digs the prequels and just screwed up the Darth Maul makeup:
This is the one living creature who appreciated George's vision.
Whatever the case, it's still a spider with a skull on its back, which is one more thing than it needed to be terrifying. Oh, and don't try to console yourself by pretending that the spiny orb weaver is some rarity that you will never come across. In truth, they can be found grinning it up in bushes all over the globe, dropping down at the last second and causing you to miss your bus.
#4. "Jason's Mask" Harvestman (Going as Take a Wild Guess)
Say hello to the "Jason's mask" harvestman (actual name), the only known species of daddy longlegs to resemble a crazed serial killer from a horror flick. You can "thank" the Brazilian Amazon for introducing this skittering atrocity to the world. It was only discovered this past January, so researchers haven't even had time to think of a decent scientific name for it, hence the clumsy but unerring pop culture reference.
It seems to be more or less a regular, harmless old daddy longlegs ... at least until some clueless teenage spiders start boning near its resting place and awaken its wrath. Then the only way to stop it will be via lightning strike, or a disappointing sequel where it gets sent up to space, underperforms at the box office, and overstays its welcome as a franchise.