Google Books has given me a late present–many past issues of WWN are now online! Readers of WWN (via the grocery checkout isle, anyway) will remember that they often feature amazingly badly pasted together stories about giant insects! giant hopper!

As a trip down memory lane, I give you–the 23lb. grasshopper (from New Zealand. In theory).

The stories are usually hilarious, and can serve as great classroom discussion points.  For example–why isn’t it likely that a 48 inch long grasshopper would exist?  I’ve included a shot of the story below (click to enbiggen).

Have fun searching the archives–and let me know if you get any other good insect stories!

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!I’ve seen moths with a 14 inch wing span but never a 23 lb. grasshopper…. wonder if the farmer lived near a nuclear power plant! Happy New Year and Happy Buggin’

  2. You are crackin me up bug girl. I search cochineal bugs and found your blog about 1/2 hour ago. I’ve been reading your notes since. Your notes are amusing and still informative. Thanks for making me laugh today.
    Your newest fan.
    naturalist in NJ (NO…it’s not an oxymoron.)

  3. There’s an old tale from Australia about a bloke who told of being pursued by a swarm of giant mosquitoes. When people disbelieved him, he retorted by saying “well, when I hid in the iron water tank from the blighters, they just punched their proboscises through the sides and and started to fly off with it”. Don’t ask me how he escaped to tell the tale, though.

  4. LOL! That is an awesome story, Stoney!

    And thanks for the compliment, Doug! *blush*

  5. Hmm. I was under the impression that the respitory system of insects put some pretty hard limits on how large they can get in a 20% oxygen atmosphere. (the square-cube law and that stuff being an issue) I generally thought that a 23-lb grasshopper wasn’t a possibility.

    However, if it was published in a real supermarket magazine and everything, then it MUST be true.

  6. And you are correct Steve–which is why I suggested this as an educational discussion piece. It’s BS, but walking students through why it’s BS is useful.

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