Insectarium

P1070187Insects make up a large percentage of the world’s species, over eighty percent. Every fourth species is a beetle. Noah’s Ark would have been filled with bugs. So why is New Orleans one of the only cities to have a well-visited Insectarium?
Probably because insects can be a little freaky, like this unicorn catydid.P1070201
We were looking at the cockroaches when a man who worked there walked by and told us that a cricket king cake had just come out of the oven down at the Insect Cafe. I was expecting a king cake that was decorated with crickets, not one that had crickets mixed into the batter before it was baked! There were free samples, and I must say it was much tastier than the other bugs I’d eaten; ants (truth or dare), flies (biking), and a spider (prank). They also had Mealworm salsa and beetle chutney, which weren’t bad, but the bugs didn’t nessesarily add to the texture.P1070116
As there are so many different beetles in the world, it makes sense that they’d have a large collection. Dung beetles, diving beetles, rhinoceros beetles, this terrifying thing…P1070166They didn’t have any bombardiers however, as it’s hard to safely keep an insect that can shoot boiling acid out of its butt.
More common than entire Insectariums are butterfly gardens,and this one didn’t disappoint. Most butterflies, including Blue Morphos, aren’t actually colorful. It isn’t pigment that makes them pop out, but microscopic holes in their wings that refract light. It sounds like science fiction, but I promise you, Smarter Every Day wouldn’t lie.
P1070218
As well as butterflies, they had a giant moth that was apparently the inspiration for the Japanese supercreature Mothra.P1070210
And for people who aren’t so much into the live bugs, there were display cases full of beetles and butterflies arranged into patterns, and of insect inspired jewlery. And, in the case of Egyptian women, live scarabs that were tethered to broches.P1070174
This museum was proof that little animals can be just as exciting, and terrifying, as the big ones, but not quite as tasty.

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