When it comes to admiring the natural world, certain categories get a lot more love than others. We’ve all got our favorite cuddly animals, and maybe even a favorite flower. This is, though, only scratching the very outer surface of the amazing wealth of life that exists here on our tiny insignificant yet very massive blue marble.

One category that could certainly use a PR boost is: bugs. More likely to be greeted with a shoe sole than any level of wonder, these little critters live an underappreciated life. And now, I am here to fix that, and give at least a COUPLE bugs the credit they deserve. Let’s jump straight into it: here is the be-all and end-all definitive ranking of the 15 coolest bugs.

Fire Ants

Magdalena Smyczek

Fire is cool as hell. Ask any 13 year old and they’ll back me up on that. So when there’s a bug that’s got fire right there in its name? Now we’re cookin’ with grease, baby. Not to mention any tiny insect that can bite a giant and ruin its day is impressive.

Walking Sticks

Vengolis

Blame it on too much Splinter Cell or too many spy movies, but I will forever think that camouflage is sweet. And here we have the king of insect espionage, the walking stick. This is simple, beautiful evolution. Just a direct line from “I keep getting eaten off this branch” to “I will BECOME the branch.” Hell yeah, you gangly little weirdo.

Praying Mantis

Shiva Shankar

You KNEW the big PM was gonna clock in on this list, and maybe you even guessed higher up. Unfortunately, and apologies to all praying mantises reading this, I feel like they had their time in the sun. They’ve got an absolutely top-notch name and are responsible for the classic “shared by a drunk person at a party” fact of the females cutting off the male’s head and eating them after breeding. I just feel like the hype has gotten too big.

Hercules Beetle

Didier Descouens

This is the kind of bug that I’d let date my mom. Look at this absolute unit. Strong as the day is long and big and sturdy. Being named after Hercules are some big sandals to fill, but the beetle here absolutely is up to the task. Pincers are already a top-notch insect accessory, and this guy’s got a pair that I’d pay good money to watch crush a tin can.

Death’s Head Moth

Didier Descouens

Look, any bug that makes the box art for Silence of the Lambs is also going to make this list. Them’s the rules. Not to mention that this is a moth with a HUMAN SKULL shaped marking on its back. Metal as hell and very, very cool. You may ask, does it really look like a skull or is that just our human brains constantly looking for faces in what we see? And I will answer, shut up, nerd.

Trapdoor Spider

Don Home

We’re clocking in our first spider right here at number 10, and it’s a doozy. If you’re reading this like “wait, is this a list of insects because spiders are actually not insects, they’re arachnids,” then I simply must beg you: go outside. We’re talkin bugs, and spiders is bugs, it’s as simple as that. And when one of those bugs builds trapdoors and then pops out of them to grab prey like a little Zelda enemy? They’re making the cool bug list.

Assassin Bug

fir0002

The moment this little guy received a name, they rocketed to the top of the cool list. Assassin is one of the coolest professions, and words, around. And just when everybody was forgetting how cool they were, we got John Wick to remind us. The name is deserved too, because this dope little nightmare injects its prey with a toxin that liquefies its insides and then it sucks them out like they’re a lil’ box of coconut water. Dope.

Cuckoo Wasp

RudiSteenkamp

Cuckoo Wasps check every box needed to place high on the Cool Bug List. First off: cool name. It sounds like a nickname a mentally unhinged boxer might have. Second: Looks cool. These things are blue and iridescent and generally look like they’d drop rare loot if you killed them in an RPG. Third: doesn’t sting me and give me ouchies like regular wasps. Look, sorry I hit your nest with a brick but you guys are overreacting!

Golden Tortoise Beetle

Ilona Loser

Speaking of bugs that seem straight out of a Playstation JRPG, the golden tortoise beetle is a straight up Ultra Rare Item looking bug. If you saw this thing on a leaf, you would assume it was some sort of god who had taken corporeal form in order to observe humans. This thing straight up looks like a power-up.

Scarab

Chrumps

Nothing too fancy but an absolute classic here. A name that’s fun to say, cool-looking as hell, and a consistent association with curses and mummies that is cool as hell in its own right.

Picasso Moth

Notafly

Look, I didn’t want to include two moths on this list. Outside of the Death’s Head, it’s extremely hard for a moth to be cool enough to outweigh how generally gross I think they are and how bad they feel when you touch one. It’s like a creepy little feather and it disgusts me. However, the Picasso Moth manages to eke out the win because, I mean, look at this thing. Dope.

Golden Wheel Spider

Adam Hammond

Spider number two coming in is this acrobatic little terror who lives in sand dunes. This lil’ guy mostly may look like a run-of-the-mill spider, but what makes it cool is its unique defense mechanism of curling up into a little ball and shooting down a sand dune X-Games style. I urge you to watch a video and tell me you disagree.

Roly Poly Bug

Syrio

What can I say, this is my list and I love these little guys. They just rock. Tell me a time you saw a roly poly bug and your day wasn’t immediately a little bit better. Watching them curl up in a lil’ ball brings childlike joy to a human of any age.

Top Image: Public Domain/Pexels

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