The World's Biggest and Baddest Bugs - Thế Giới Côn Trùng Khổng Lồ và Nguy Hiểm


Uploaded by APTXvn on 28.01.2013

Transcript:
Upload by APTXvn Bugs. They fascinate us.
They frighten us.
Some are as big as dinner plates,
others as dangerous as the plague.
And I love'em!
G'day. I'm Ruud Kleinpaste, the Bugman.
And the opportunity to go looking for bugs...
...as big as bugs can get and as bad as bugs can get...
...was an opportunity too good to miss.
Aah, he got me! Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!
I'll do whatever it takes to get down to bugs' level...
...so I can understand why some bugs become so big...
...and others turn so bad...
...on world's Biggest and Baddest Bugs.
I begin with a journey in search of the world's biggest bugs.
I'm going to need all my experience as an entomologist...
...if I'm to uncover their secret hiding places, avoid danger,
and discover why some bugs can get to be as long as your arm...
...and the very biggest can be the size of a small cat.
First up, the biggest cockroach in the world.
Ugh!
Oh!
This is what we always think of as giant bugs.
Yuh!
You know, there's monsters that lurk under the floorboards...
and in your kitchen cupboards.
Ugh.
These ain't no giants.
These are giants.
But don't worry.
You're not going to find these
anywhere near your kitchen cupboard.
This is where they occur.
My search for giants brings me to the Australian outback.
You got to be tough to live out here.
Whew! It's hot.
Ah. Now. Ah, ah.
Come over here.
See this?
There's some dry soil here
sort of, like, recently excavated.
What I'm looking for is the giant burrowing cockroach.
Most cockroaches are too easy to find.
These giants aren't.
They live only in Queensland and only in burrows.
See? Oh ho ho!
Oh, come on. Don't be...
Oh, don't be a spoilsport!
I got him. Got him, got him, got him.
Righto. Now, there we are.
Ow. Spiky legs, all right.
That is what I call a cockroach.
Look at it. Might not even be full-grown.
And by the looks of it, it's a male.
It's a boy.
Ohh.
How long? About 3 inches.
See this little lip here?
That means it's a male, and it can dig.
It's like having your hat like this
and dig out with your thorax - your prothorax.
Isn't that gorgeous?
These cockroaches don't come to town, thank goodness.
They're strictly country cousins,
and they burrow.
They can burrow through tightly compacted soil
like mini excavators.
Now, underneath is the head. It's always protected.
And you know what?
It feels nice and cool, and it feels nice and moist.
And that is a dead giveaway
why these cockroaches live underground.
Compared to the 90-plus-degrees heat outside,
their burrows are as cool as wine cellars.
And like a good wine, giant cockroaches age well.
They live for up to 10 years.
The roach in your kitchen lives only for two.
Even more remarkable
is that mother giant roaches give birth to live young.
Now, this is very unusual for cockroaches.
Others lay eggs.
And she looks after her young for up to nine months.
But why do these junior roaches grow up to be giants?
Well, it's a mystery, but scientists think
it could have something to do with moisture.
[Thunder crashes]
The biggest cockroaches are found where more rain falls.
When it rains, they all come out of their burrows
to meet, to mate, and to move on.
This is the only time when they won't dry out
in the fierce Australian heat.
So the moment it rains, they come out,
they gather up all these leaves from around here -
eucalyptus leaves and anything they can find -
and take them down in the burrow.
And these leaves are dead, old, dried leaves.
Mmh. Mmh.
Dry?
They taste like dead, old, dried leaves.
Not something that I could live on,
but these roaches can.
This guy has had a heck of a day today.
Exciting, mind you, but in the process,
we've destroyed its burrow totally.
Now, luckily, I've found a burrow here that's deserted.
You can always tell a deserted burrow because it's open.
It's never closed off.
So I'm gonna let him go here. Successful relocation.
Ah, put a leaf in for good measure, for some food.
Away you go.
Giant cockroaches are big, but I've only just begun my search.
And the next bug helps answer the question,
"Why aren't bugs as big as buses?"
Dragonflies.
I love them because they're so ancient.
They were flying around 300 million years ago.
That's the time when coal was deposited.
Can you imagine?
Another thing I like about dragonflies
is that they used to be much larger than this.
Oh, yeah, once they were
the largest flying insect in the world.
Now, of course, this is a much smaller 21 st-century model.
It's the hawker dragonfly. A robust little fellow.
But I'd like you to meet
a long and slender cousin of this one the helicopter damselfly.
The very first flying insects appeared about 350 million years ago.
There were giant dragonflies the size of eagles
and damselflies the size of hawks.
So, what happened? Why did they shrink?
My journey to find out begins in Panama.
Near water should be the perfect place to find the giant helicopter damselfly.
They gather around fallen logs
because logs have holes that will fill up with water,
and females come to these tiny pools to lay eggs.
And where there are females, there are big males.
Males are superb fliers.
They hover over their ponds like mini helicopters.
And if they receive unwelcome visitors,
they become attack helicopters.
Got him! [Cackles]
Why do they get so big? Well, very simple.
Areas like this and habitats like these tree trunks
don't come around very often, and they are worth fighting for.
So if you're a big male,
you got a better chance of securing a female
with such a piece of real estate.
Believe it or not,
these helicopters are the biggest in the world.
Body length - around 4 inches.
Wingspan - 31/2.
In the past - and we know this from fossil records -
damselflies got a lot, lot bigger.
About a size like that.
And why was that?
Well, one simple reason - oxygen.
We humans have evolved in an atmosphere with only 20% oxygen.
We're used to it.
That's enough for me to cycle hard for five minutes,
no problems.
I feel okay.
Enough oxygen here, you know.
[Breathing heavily]
But damselflies -
and their close relations, the dragonflies -
evolved long ago,
when there was twice as much oxygen as there is today.
Now, with more oxygen, flying insects became giants.
Imagine dragonflies with a 2-foot wingspan.
Then imagine what happened when the world's oxygen levels halved.
Scientists think that decomposing bacteria and fungi
began using a lot more of it.
With less oxygen in the air, the insect shrunk.
Now, if lowering oxygen can shrink a bug,
I'd like to know, what could it do to me?
I've asked my TV crew to find me a hyperbaric chamber.
These help scuba divers recover from the bends by increasing oxygen.
Now, for me, they will reduce it by half.
When I take off my mask,
it will be like trying to breathe on top of Mount Everest.
Here we go.
Ugh!
Oh, it's tough.
As soon as I start pedaling, I want to stop.
I have no energy.
After a minute, my heart is thumping,
and by two minutes, I can't get enough air.
My muscles are screaming in pain.
21/2 minutes gone.
Ohh. 57% oxygen in my blood. It's a lot less.
So it's really getting tough.
How are you feeling?
Really tired. And a bit headachey.
I'm worried how less oxygen will affect my brain.
You see, our brains only weigh 2% of our body weight
but use nearly 20% of all the oxygen we breathe.
Without enough oxygen,
we'd suffer memory loss, blindness, and blackout.
Can I go back now?
I want to go back.
I'm gonna go back. Hang on.
[Breathing heavily]
I - I tell you what -
Out here it feels like I'm in a...
in an enormous carbon dioxide or nitrogen bubble,
and I can't get enough air.
I - I - I do need air.
You need air to perform.
You need air - you need air to...
Trying to work without enough oxygen is the worst feeling.
I want to cry. I want to sleep.
I feel terrible.
But my problems are really small compared to bugs.
Their respiration is inefficient.
They carry little oxygen in their blood,
and they rely on air coming in
through tiny portholes, or spiracles, along the sides of their bodies.
So a bug's size is limited
by the amount of oxygen it can absorb.
My search for the biggest bug
takes me back to Queensland, Australia.
If I were to describe to you
an insect that can grow up to 8 inches in length,
has perfect 360-degree vision,
lightning-fast reflexes both in attack and in defense,
what do you think such an insect would look like?
You guessed it. A praying mantis.
A predator that can blend into the foliage,
stay still as a statue,
but then strike fast enough to catch flies and wasps in midair.
Praying mantis's weapons of choice
are their pairs of extraordinary front legs
that are like spring-loaded jackknives.
They use them to lunge and then hold their victims.
It's amazing.
This praying mantis has given two of her six legs...
...and modified them to such an extent
that they're only killing machines.
But as skilled and as lethal as these predators are,
they must be very careful...
...not to end up as the prey of much bigger killers.
So how do praying mantises avoid ending up
on other predators' breakfast tables?
Their first line of defense is camouflage.
All mantises blend into their environment,
but few go as far as the orchid mantis.
It even sways like an orchid in the breeze.
It can also hide in papaya and frangipani flowers.
Even its legs are shaped like petals.
Just beautiful.
But praying mantises have another trick up their sleeves.
When cornered by predators - even much bigger ones -
they will stand and fight.
So size is not a big deal to a praying mantis.
It's attitude.
And no matter how big or how small the mantis,
inside they all think they are giants.
So how can a small mantis beat a big enemy?
Well, my TV crew has sent me on a mystery mission
to discover their secret.
I'm to receive my instructions via text message.
"Prepare 4 combat!
Tiffany, your host, is the mantis... "
Ha ha ha.
[Chuckling] Oh, I get it.
Tiffany is an exponent of mantis kung fu,
and I've got to fight her.
Are you sure I'm gonna need all this?
Yes. You'll need it.
"Your challenge is to pin her arms
for just one second. "
AII I know about mantis kung fu
is that it was developed hundreds of years ago by a Chinese student
who closely watched the moves of the praying mantis.
There's something like 12 arm moves copied from the praying mantis.
Hmm. Her technique looks really good.
But my arms are longer.
Ah. Ha ha.
Ding!
Ugh!
Oh, I give up. Give up.
Shows you, though,
when you're small and you got technique,
you can battle just about anything.
I mean, I'm no slouch. Pbht!
But this was too quick. This was technique.
This was small, fast, and furious.
Inside every praying mantis beats the heart of a giant.
Next, bugs that are not only big
but tough when the going gets cold.
A bug with tusks? Yeah, that's right.
They're on the face of a tusked weta.
Wetas are related to crickets and grasshoppers,
and tusked weta males use their tusks for fighting,
just like male elephants or walrus.
They fight for territory and for females.
And battles like this have been going on
for nearly 300 million years.
They are truly, truly ancient.
Wetas might be ancient,
but they're still being discovered in New Zealand
as we speak.
This creature is the tusked weta.
It was only found a few years ago.
It's rare. It is very, very rare -
...so rare that they're breeding it in captivity
so that, in a few years' time,
this fellow might have a few more females to fight over.
Now, wouldn't that be a good idea, my friend?
Tusked wetas are one of several different wetas in New Zealand.
They include giants like this.
Giant wetas are super heavy weights of the bug world.
And because they weigh more than 3 ounces,
they're right up there amongst the world's heaviest bugs.
But by far the coolest weta of them all
lives to the south of here in the mountains of New Zealand.
And when I say "cool," I mean cool.
The mountain weta survives under the ice all winter long.
And when spring comes and the sun thaws the ice,
it emerges from its frozen tomb, just like magic.
But it is not magic.
You see, the weta has special chemicals
that prevent harmful ice crystals forming within its cells.
Now, that was a clever trick. Could I do that?
So I can appreciate the alpine conditions wetas cope with,
I've come to a human-performance center,
where Dr. John Marsden will let me experience what it is like
to be in the mountains in the middle of winter.
And like wetas, I'll have no clothes,
except for a pair of shorts for modesty.
The freezer has been set to 16 degrees Fahrenheit,
or minus-8 Celsius.
And the cold hits me like a brick.
We are not built for the cold.
If our temperatures drop
more than just a few degrees for too long,
we get hypothermia, which can kill us.
But all it would do to the mountain weta
would be to slow it down a bit.
To the old mountain weta,
this must be like the first day of winter,
and they're just getting into their game.
[Chuckles] I'm starting to conk out.
They thrive at these sort of temperatures.
It's unbelievable.
But I have to keep warm,
and I can do that by running and jumping
because when my muscles are working, they generate heat.
By 15 minutes, running can't keep me warm anymore.
This is where the weta and I differ.
You see, the weta will continue cooling
until it is as cold as ice -
not moving, not eating, as if it was dead.
I can't do that.
I must stay warm if I'm to survive.
I'm literally freezing from the outside in.
As I get colder, my body sacrifices my outer layer
to keep my center part warm, particularly my heart and brain.
But my brain's already cooling.
John's math tests are becoming impossible.
44 plus 18.
[Softly] 44 and 18. 44 and 18...
60-something - 2.
59 plus 21.
[Sighs]
Oh, 59...
80- 80.
Okay, that took over a minute there to get those done,
so we're getting pretty near the edge here.
If the temperature goes much lower,
then we'll pull you out of there.
Okay.
Ruud, do you want to tell us
how you're feeling at the moment?
I don't think I've ever been this cold.
It really hurts my ears and my hands and my fingers.
It's actually quite awful.
I think it's about time to pull out now.
Okay. Come and get me.
My core temperature is now lowering, and that's critical.
It's reached a point where to go any lower
would be very dangerous.
Ahh. [Sighs]
Ah, the sun.
Warm. Ooh.
I had to get out of there.
I had to get out.
That mountain weta has got an ability that I cannot match.
I suppose that's one up for the bugs, eh?
My search for the world's biggest bug
now takes me to the Venezuelan rainforest in the rain.
This is what rainforest is all about,
and these are conditions that the next creature really likes.
Have a look at this.
We're going large now, man. Look at this.
61/2, maybe 7 inch of the giant millipede.
Beautiful creature. Very thin-skinned.
This is why it cannot afford to lose much moisture.
This is why it likes to be hidden
and comes out when it rains.
Look at it move, will you? Isn't it just spectacular?
So graceful the way all these legs are coordinated.
Now, as I said, they are totally harmless to human beings.
But there is a similar sort of species
that, uh, hmm, needs a little bit more care
when you encounter it.
[Indistinct shouting]
Something down the road. They found something.
Whoa.
[Speaking Spanish]
What's that?
Con cuidado.
Let's have a look.
Be careful, be careful.
Oh, no. There it is - giant centipede.
Hang on, hang on.
Don't - Hang on. Here we go.
You don't want that to go away. That is a mean predator.
That is one of those ones
that you don't put your hands in front.
You treat him with respect.
And once it's disturbed, it raises its hind legs
because it's in the defense mode.
And, boy, it's got fangs. Mwah!
Like this. Like knives and forks.
You don't want to be...
I'll show you what you don't do. You don't touch centipedes.
But you can, if you're careful, stroke the back.
Oopsy-daisy.
Huffy-puffy. Bit of a temper here.
Oops. [Chuckles] Thank you.
Look. See that? And then these rear legs.
Now, if I would do this with the rear legs, it would grab me,
turn around, make a figure of eight, and bite me.
There's no doubt about it.
Those fangs at the front are the first front legs,
which have been - in evolution, if you like - made hollow
and, with a poison gland from its head,
made into poisonous fangs.
But they are really modified first legs.
God, look at it.
It's sick of me. It's sick of me.
Look out, look out, look out. Camera, camera, camera, camera!
When a giant centipede gets hold of you, it doesn't let go.
And when it goes hunting,
everything from bugs to birds to lizards should watch out.
It's a great climber.
It's built for searching in holes.
Nothing is safe.
For its size, it's the ultimate predator.
And its big advantage is its shape and speed.
Long, thin, and very fast.
How do you beat a bug like that?
This little demonstration is all about body shape.
It's a race between the beetles versus the centipede.
Now, I am the big, round, bumbling beetle.
And over there is, um, centipede man.
Go, beetles!
Go!
Ha ha!
Oh, you!
[Laughing]
When you have to get a lot of body
through a very small space in a hurry,
it pays to be long, flat, and thin -
built like a centipede.
You won, mate. [Laughs]
We were so lucky to find this.
I mean, they lead such a sheltered and hidden life.
I'm gonna put it back, though
because it really doesn't want to dry out.
Oh, now, man. Here we go.
The king of the predators of the jungle.
Isn't it gorgeous? Ooh!
Lucky us, lucky us.
Come on, mate. This is where you live.
Here we go. Put it right down here.
Come on. Bye-bye.
Have a good time.
I'm getting out of your way.
Down here. Come on.
Tut! Whoa!
There you go. Bye-bye.
Making your body long and thin is one way
of getting among the world's biggest bugs,
but the next bug has done that to the max.
I've been sitting here now for half an hour,
not 10 foot from a tree,
looking for one of the largest insects in the world,
and I can't see it.
I'm gonna give it a bit longer.
This creature's been eluding me for so long, I've had enough.
I'm going to get in there and get it.
Whoops.
This is the place where you find them.
On the leaves.
They sit on the outside of the tree,
and they gobble up leaves.
But despite their size,
they're surprisingly difficult to find, actually.
Here it is. This is it.
This is a leaf insect.
Some people call them stick insects,
and they belong to the same group.
Look. I'll come down, and I'll show you.
Yah! Whoa.
There we are with the leaf insect.
Now, leaf insects and stick insects are closely related,
and they all got one thing in common.
They can grow to huge sizes.
Now, you wonder why they get so big, eh?
The trick apparently is that -
You think about little warblers and little insect-eating birds.
They come across something like that,
and they say, "Whoa! Whoa! Back the bus up!
That's too much of a mouthful. I can't handle that. "
So size is a protection from being eaten.
But there's something else.
There's this wonderful camouflage.
Because if they can help it,
they don't even want to become discovered.
They just look like their environment.
But does camouflage really work?
Can a stick insect really fool a predator?
I've told my TV crew
to see if they can fool me with camouflage.
So, here's the challenge.
I've been told there's food upstairs,
and I've got two minutes to eat as much as I can.
[Bell dings]
Hey, this is the sort of job I like.
Mmm.
[Bell dings]
Nothing to it. Very easy. Yummy.
Mmm, great.
And now I get to do that all over again.
But this time, the rules have changed.
This time, there's still lots of food,
but it's all disguised - camouflage.
It doesn't look like food,
just like a stick insect doesn't look like food.
[Bell dings]
[Chuckles]
Mmh.
There's nothing here.
It's empty.
This is ridiculous.
[Bell dings]
Time's up.
I'm hungry. I can't see anything, honestly.
This is a list of all the things
I've apparently missed in this room.
Didn't know. Gonna have a look.
Oh, hello.
Wow.
Well, you can eat that.
Blow me days. Clever.
You can eat that. [Laughs]
Look at this.
Did you see that?
No idea.
[Laughs]
Look! [Laughs] Very good one.
This is not cable.
[Laughs]
Licorice. I love licorice.
There's something else.
The list.
Oh, it was great camouflage.
How much would you have got? Okay, the rose was icing.
The plate was marzipan. So was the cup.
And the TV cable was licorice.
And the list was written on rice paper.
And that is what it is all about.
Stick insects are absolutely wonderful at this!
They just look like a twig and think,
"See if you can find me. See if you want to eat me. "
Stick and leaf insects are peaceful vegetarians.
That's why they must be perfect at camouflage.
They have no other way to protect themselves.
This one is just like lichen growing on a tree trunk.
How about this leaf insect?
It's so perfect,
it has insect bites taken out of it.
And a leaf-eating leaf.
[Chuckles] How about that?
But even their eggs are camouflaged.
They look like seeds on the forest floor.
And when the young hatch,
they're camouflaged to look like ants
and instinctively climb straight up
into the branches of the nearest tree.
Many stick insects have one more amazing trick.
Some females don't even mate to produce babies.
They do it all on their own.
Unfertilized eggs hatch into females
that grow up to produce more females.
Instant family! Ha! Very clever.
The spiny leaf insect might be big,
but it certainly isn't the fastest creature on this planet.
Oh, no, no, no. But she knows where she's going.
She's going up there to blend in with the foliage
and to eat a little bit more and grow a little bit bigger.
Now, while she's racing up into the tree,
I might go away to see if I can find something
even bigger than this.
Go left! Slightly left! That's it! That's it!
Up the trunk, up the trunk, up the trunk!
Yeah. Oh! Oh, just don't never mind.
I'll come down. Here we go.
Aah! Oh, no!
Ugh.
Boy, oh, boy. Oh.
Are you all right? Are you okay, dear sticky?
Oh! I think she's in better shape than I am.
Isn't it a beauty?
Now, this is the giant Malaysian stick insect,
and it's one of those creatures that lives way up in the canopy
because it pretends to be a stick,
not a big, fat trunk like that.
The Malaysian giant stick insect
is the longest insect in the world.
Well, not this particular one.
But somewhere out there- somewhere is its biggest cousin.
The longest stick insect in the world
was a Malaysian forest walking stick.
It was found some years ago and was just under 2 foot long.
I'm Ruud Kleinpaste, and my search for the biggest bug
takes me back to the rainforests of Latin America.
Oh.
Look at that.
That is the largest arachnid in the world -
the largest bug.
It takes the cake. It is the champion.
Whoo.
These spiders can grow up to 12 inches across in every way you look
They can be a quarter pound in terms of weight.
Can you imagine that?
These are the things Hollywood horror movies are made of.
[People screaming]
Magnificent.
What a monster. What a hunter.
No wonder they've made movie about these things.
Oh, man, they can kill people at 12 paces.
That's all rubbish.
Look at this docile creature, will you?
Sure, it's a hunter. Sure, it's big.
But it's slow, too.
These creatures have no ears.
They've got eight eyes. They can't see very well.
But they have thousands of hairs on their legs, on their bodies.
And those hairs all help to monitor airflow.
That means they can feel people coming closer.
They can feel predators coming closer.
They can feel prey coming closer, as well.
If I make a quick move like this...
You see immediately how she reacts.
She can feel this easily,
just with all those hairs on these wonderful legs.
Come on. Turn it down.
It's all right, girl. I wasn't gonna hurt you.
See, if I were a predator, I would always go from the back,
knowing that the fangs are at the front.
And when I come from the back...
Oops! Pbht!
What it does is it dislodges all these hairs
straight into my face.
The hairs are venomous
and cause irritation to skin, eyes, and nose.
But the hairs also tell us
that goliath spiders are, in fact, giant tarantulas.
And like all tarantulas, they are predators.
They ambush prey and kill with venom from their fangs.
But they must take care when they meet other goliath spiders.
When a male and female come together to mate,
the male protects himself from her bite
by holding her fangs from special hooks on his legs
while they copulate.
There are no records of goliath spiders actually killing humans
but their bite is very, very painful and can cause paralysis.
Like most spiders, they don't bite unless threatened.
This is as large as spiders
or, for that matter, any bugs can get.
Any larger and they wouldn't be able
to get oxygen right to their bodies.
Oh, where you going? Where you going?
That's not where you should be going.
Hey. Oh, oh, oh.
[Chuckles]
Isn't that gorgeous? Look at this.
Come on.
Off you go.
Where's she gone? Right.
That's what I call a good spider.
Straight back.
You see, the only time these fierce predators are really vulnerable
is when they molt.
When a spider is about to molt, it stops feeding and hides away.
It also loses hair on its abdomen,
and its skin has a slightly blue color.
Under its old skin,
there's a new, soft skin already forming.
And between the two, the spider injects a fluid.
When the pressure of the fluid builds up,
the old skin splits along its back,
and the spider steps out of its old suit.
Goliath spiders keep on molting throughout their lives.
As youngsters, they change skin once a month.
As adults, they molt once a year.
Each skin they shed brings them closer and closer to becoming giants
and one of the world's biggest bugs.
The next bug might not beat the giant spider for outright size,
but it is a true champion for weight and strength.
There's something weird and wonderful happening here.
And it's all to do with growing.
Getting to become a true giant of the bug world
means eating your rotten wood and plenty of it.
Rotten logs build champions.
Now, have a look at this. Look what I've found.
Hoo hoo hoo! Hoo hoo!
This is merely a baby.
It is the immature or larva of the Hercules beetle.
If you want to see something really nice,
have a look at this creature's father.
The very best-fed larvae get to become the biggest beetles.
After spending over a year hidden in the ground, munching away as a grub...
...the adult Hercules beetle finally emerges,
as big as a truck.
Papa Hercules.
Isn't it a wonderful specimen? Look at it.
This is as large as they're going to get, those beetles.
It's a contender for the heaviest insect in the world.
And they're built - listen - like a nut.
Strong and hard.
They can lift 80 times their own weight on top.
Look, they're really, really, really, really tough.
Now, the horn - Yes.
Well, that horn is not for aggression.
Oh, no.
It's not even for defense against predators.
That beautiful horn is for jousting.
And jousting is where size of body and horns really counts.
When a stranger comes along,
it becomes a battle to defend your home patch
and defend your food.
The upper and lower horns move like a claw
to grasp an opponent and throw him out of the ring.
Among Hercules beetle males, big is definitely best.
And if a male can keep his good feeding ground,
it just might become a breeding ground.
If he wins,
there's a good chance he will also get the girl.
To prove that size makes a big beetle unbeatable,
my TV crew has set up another challenge.
Oh, no!
Aw, a sumo wrestler!
Ugh.
He's the big beetle.
Oh, and there's the girl. [Chuckles]
And I guess I'm supposed to push him out of the ring.
Yeah, right.
Hee hee hee!
Oh ho ho ho ho!
Hey!
[Groaning]
When two beetles fight, it's all about territory,
and the winner gets the territory.
And as a bonus, he gets the female, as well.
Now, how cool is that?
So you go claim your prize.
[Cheers and applause]
Oh, I feel for male Hercules beetles,
especially the losers.
You know, it's not easy, it's not fun, and it hurts.
Oh ho! No!
My journey now continues
in search of the world's baddest bugs.
I'm Ruud Kleinpaste,
and I'm going to need all my experience as an entomologist
if I am to avoid danger
and discover why some bugs can seriously hurt us...
...and how others can cause the deaths of millions of people.
But first up, the stinkiest bugs in the world.
Ugh! [Laughing]
It's just not a good idea.
This cute bug is called the man-faced bug,
and I'm sure you can see why.
Well, if I turned it around, you would see.
That's better. Ooh, great hair.
But wait. Is that Ronald Reagan?
But what's the man-faced doing
amongst the baddest bugs in the world?
Well, it belongs to the stinkbug family.
And where do they hang out?
To find the worst-smelling bug in the world,
all you really need to do is go to a generic vegetable garden
anywhere on this planet.
Now, I found some of these coreids
right here on this sunflower.
I'm going to pick one up to show you exactly what it is.
Oopsy. Here's one. I got one. Aha.
It's a beautiful, beautiful creature, actually,
because it's got these lovely legs
with these leaflike flaps on the side.
It's called a leaf-footed bug sometimes.
Now, this is the point.
If I were a bird - a young, inexperienced bird -
and I think, "Hmm. A leaf-footed bug.
Let's have a go. "
I would pick it in my mouth like this.
They have this awful taste!
And as a bird, I would - Oh!
Oh, this is - Oh.
As a bird, I'd learn my lesson.
I would never, ever do that again.
Stinkbugs get stinky and horribly tasting
by feeding on plant juices and using the toxins in the juice
to manufacture bad smells and tastes.
They do it to keep predators away.
Oh, this is a big one! Yeah, this is a good one.
I'm gonna try that one, too.
Oh, a pretty good pong.
I wonder what it tastes like.
Look at it. Beautiful, though.
Ugh! [Chuckles]
It's just not a good idea.
Stupid. [Chuckles] Bah!
Go away. Get back.
If you don't believe me
when I say that stinkbugs really smell,
that these cute little bugs can make you gag,
well, here's an independent panel of sniffers
that you might believe.
Oh, my God!
[Laughs]
Smell it.
Ew.
No, no, no, no.
Ugh!
Oh!
It's just a stinkbug.
Pbht! Blimey. It is a stinkbug.
Aah! Oh!
Ohhhh!
Aah!
[Laughter]
Yeah!
[Girls screaming]
Eww!
Uh!
Eww!
That's the bug. He ate it.
Aah!
Smells are bad, but they're not dangerous.
Now, the next bug has a hot solution
to help escape predators.
In nature, predators usually win.
So how can a defenseless creature beat a hungry predator?
Answer - With a nasty surprise.
Aaaah!
Sometimes the best form of defense is attack
or, rather, confusion.
And when you're a small bug in a big, big forest,
the more time you can buy yourself by scaring your opponent
the more time you have to get away.
Meet the bombardier beetle.
Bombardier beetles are the nutty professors of the bug world.
They create explosive reactions
by combining chemicals inside their bodies.
And if you're on the wrong end of that chemical explosion,
then these guys are bad.
But how bad?
World bombardier expert Tom Eisner should know.
No, I haven't, actually.
- Never seen one blast? - No.
Let's do it.
What I'm going to make believe is that I'm an ant.
Oh, you are?
I'm gonna just bite him gently on the leg.
Oh, where? Which side?
The left front leg.
Okay. Here we go.
Oh!
Oh, look at that.
And it squirted in your direction.
He's the best marksman in the world.
Wow. Look.
It didn't miss a degree.
- Okay. Watch the other leg. - Okay. The other leg.
We're gonna take the middle leg from the other side.
Here we go.
Oh, yeah! Oh!
Put on your goggles. Here are the forceps.
Just pinch him very gently. It doesn't take very much.
Try the left hind leg.
Yes, I'll try the left hind leg. Here we go.
Okay.
Look out. [Sniffs]
[Laughs]
- It works. - Sensational.
And imagine, he can do this for about 30 times.
Ooh, that's a pretty good national average.
It's a good national average,
and he's not forced to expend his supply,
because after he fires, he's coated with the stuff.
The bombardier beetle is a walking zap gun.
It's quick on the draw, can fire in any direction,
and it's guaranteed to put off the biggest predator.
[Laughs]
Thanks, Tom.
It was a random one.
It got you straight in the nostrils.
I'm sorry.
No, that's... [Laughing]
This is what it's all about.
This is the master blaster.
Oh, beetle. These are visitors.
Behave yourself.
It's quite remarkable.
The mechanism is not unlike the one
that the Germans put in the V-1 rocket in World War II.
It's also a system where chemicals are mixed from two chambers.
So to avoid getting zapped themselves,
bombardier beetles keep two chemicals apart in two chambers
and only mix them to blast an enemy
with their boiling-hot, smelly gunk.
This is concentrated hydrogen peroxide.
It is exactly the same material
that is fabricated inside the abdomen of the bombardier beetle.
Can you imagine? It's rocket fuel.
That's what they send these rockets up in the sky with.
And I'm going to mimic exactly what happens inside the bombardier beetle.
This is it. Look at it.
First, a bit of peroxide. Here we go.
To this we're going to add something that reacts with it.
It's a catalyst to set off the explosion.
Now, I'd like you to meet my self here,
standing just like that.
And if this is the bombardier beetle,
we're scaling everything up to my size.
That's what we're trying to do here.
Watch what happens.
Holy moly! [Laughs]
Ooh hoo! We got him, we got him! Yay!
The search for the baddest bugs in the world
brings me back to Latin America
and the busy shipping highway, the Panama Canal.
I'm Ruud Kleinpaste, and I'm searching for a bug
that is the terror of the rainforest -
a fierce predator that devours over two pounds of bugs
and other small creatures every day.
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.
Oh, oh, oh.
Here we are.
Missed. Hang on, hang on. Get one.
Got one.
This is what I'm looking for.
This is what we call an army ant.
Small, insignificant? Yes.
Aah! It bites. No, it stings.
It does both Small and insignificant perhaps,
but it's part of a much larger community.
We're talking about hundreds of thousands of creatures.
This is only a tiny-weeny column here.
But if I'm going on,
I'm sure I'll find a bigger trail than that.
Isn't that amazing? Aah!
God, they found me, all right! Look.
Straight through my pants there.
[Laughs]
Stinging. And it hurts.
They all sting.
The interesting thing is they're all blind,
but somehow they find me all right.
Here we go. Bye-bye.
Army ant colonies are so perfectly organized
that they are sometimes called vast superbugs.
And I'm heading towards this one's heart.
Ohh.
[Sighs]
The trail is over there.
I have the feeling I'm close to the nest,
because they're getting really wide - the trails -
and it's like a highway.
So they're split up a bit further up.
The food is going that way,
so I must be close to the bivouac.
Really exciting stuff. Come on.
Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
That's where they are. Ooh.
Look at it.
This is the bivouac.
It's not a structural subject,
it's not a nest.
It's basically, a hell of all of ants...
...all holding hands together...
...forming their own nest.
It's a bit like having a whole family of human beings
all handing hands and forming a house
where the other human beings walk inside -
on the staircase, going upstairs,
going to the fridge.
You know, find mum, find the kids.
And there they are.
This is, I would say, a medium-sized nest.
700,000 individuals. Something like that.
This bivouac is part of a nomadic phase.
What I'm trying to say is that these ants are on the move.
The workers move their camp, or bivouac, every day.
As they take the queen
and thousands of helpless larvae and pupae
to a new feeding location,
big, well-armed soldiers guard them.
During the nomadic phase,
the colony is a bit like a ravenous beast.
Its appetite is insatiable.
Lizards, birds, even snakes fall prey to this rampaging superbug.
You know what I reckon is going to be fun?
Going to the front of the column.
That is the swarm. That's where the action is.
That's the battlefield.
The swarm will move out in a new direction every day.
There are no scouts.
And because they're all blind,
they follow a pheromone or scent trail
laid down by the workers.
Army ants sometimes enter our world.
And when they do,
you can clearly see how totally organized they are.
It's like traffic on a freeway.
Except there is no accidents and no traffic jams.
Now, this is something you don't see every day-
army ants invading homes which are close to the jungle.
Now, the locals don't mind that too much
because the army ants perform a gratis service of pest control.
They're taking away all the vermin,
all the insects that they don't want in their pantries,
in their kitchens, in their bedrooms.
Workers are voracious.
When they detect prey,
they become like a pack of tiny wolves.
But the colony concentrates most of its killing power
at the front of the swarm.
This is like the mouth of a fierce predator.
I'm literally at the front of the column.
This is where the swarm is. And they're everywhere.
There are big columns over there.
Huge numbers.
And the funny thing is
they really don't make tracks, as such.
They literally swarm all over the place.
At the leading edge, ants push forward.
They lay pheromone for others and then retreat.
Any prey is heavily marked with pheromone
and swarmed by those that follow.
If the kill is too big to move, they cut it up
and hundreds of ants each carry a piece back
along the feeder column to the bivouac.
Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!
Now, if the front of the swarm
is like the mouth of a fierce predator,
I could easily become its next meal.
Ow, ow! Ow, ow, ow, ow! Don't do that.
Oil! Stop.
I'm in the wrong place. I'm in the wrong place.
I'm in the wrong place.
Oh, no!
Army ants hurt.
But next, an ant that can really hurt.
It has the most painful sting in the animal kingdom.
The good news is this bug lives
in Central American forest treetops,
so I get a ride in a crane.
The bad news is that it has a really painful sting,
and I've agreed to experience it.
Far out.
To forget that I'm about to get a bad sting,
I'm really trying hard to enjoy the view up here.
You can imagine that the canopy of forests like this
have not been studied much in the past
because there's no way of getting there.
But once you get there, boy, there's stuff everywhere.
Entomologist's dream.
Every tree you see here is different.
I mean, there's a home for everybody here, literally.
And there's ants.
There's ants even at this elevation.
Where's my bullet ant?
I'm going to be stung by a bullet ant.
They live in colonies at the base of trees
but mainly feed on flowers and nectar high up in the treetops.
Bullet ants are blind.
They use their antennae as walking sticks
as they move about up here.
And that's why they have a sting
that causes such incredible pain.
The only disadvantage of living up here is
you're in the public eye.
The stakes are really high here.
All insects want to feed here, and the predators know that,
because they go and hunt for their favorite prey.
And if you are a big insect like a bullet ant,
you'll really want to arm yourself
so that those predators don't stand a chance.
Hmm.
Worker ants travel alone.
Nothing will mess with you
when you've got a major sting in the tip of your abdomen.
They say that being stung by a bullet ant
feels like being shot.
And I'm about to find out.
Un poco.
Gracias, gracias, gracias.
There's heaps of ants here, but it's the wrong size.
Look at them. Whoa!
They describe this ant - the pain of this ant -
as if your hand is being slammed in a car door
for a couple of hours.
Yeah. [Chuckles]
So why am I doing it?
Well, the world's stinging insects -
bees, wasps, and ants - are all bluffers.
It's a painful bluff, mind you,
but the sting is simply their trick
to make us think that we are suffering major injury.
They really just want us to go away.
Even a bullet ant's sting
is nothing more than a painful sting.
Got it, got it. Nearly. Nearly got it.
Come on, come on, come on, come on!
Yeah!
[Laughs]
I think I got one.
Now I'm going to take that ant
and see what it's really made of.
Here we go.
This is the bullet ant I got up in the canopy.
And I'm going to bite the bullet.
I'm gonna see if it's really all it's cracked up to be.
Come on, mate. Down you go. I don't want you out there yet.
I'll put it on my arm here.
Aah, he got me! Got me, got me, got me.
Get out. Get the sting out.
Come on, come on. Off you go.
Please get off me.
He keeps going, keeps going. Hang on.
Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!
Aah! Come here.
I'll get you anyway. Oh!
You can see how my watch is getting really -
See how it's swelling up on either side of my watch.
I'm gonna take it off because it's not doing anything for me.
Can you see that?
They call it the 24-hour ant.
And that means that they reckon that 24 hours,
the pain will subside.
It's like slowly creeping through my arm now.
It's starting to move. It's now moving towards my hand.
The pain is moving further up my arm.
And it took, what, 20 minutes.
Boy, this is something I will never, ever forget.
Never, ever.
We're an hour after the sting occurred.
The pain has absolutely not subsided.
It's like a hot needle in and down on either side.
It's started to really rain heavily.
It's got really dark. It's almost like midnight.
And I think it's time to retire to the comfort of my hotel,
where there might be some ice, which would be good.
Boy, this is sore. Still.
It doesn't go away. It keeps going.
It's about six hours after the sting,
and it just doesn't let up.
It's really painful.
It's not getting much better, really.
It's just, like, swollen.
Sore from here to there.
My arm, when I don't move it, is totally numb.
It's thick, and you cannot move much.
It's very thick and fat inside.
It doesn't really hurt much until you start moving it.
Then it starts to hurt again.
[Sighs]
Morning.
Just had a few hours' sleep, which is nice, actually.
And we're 16 hours on, after the sting.
And good news is, I can wear my watch.
The swelling has gone down.
The pain is basically back to the aftermath numbness of a big beesting.
And that means that I'm on the road to recovery.
I think I shall live.
I learned a lesson. I really - I really did.
Don't mess with bullet ants. They pack a punch.
My search for the baddest bugs
takes me deep into the Arizona desert.
This is scorpion HQ.
Here are two toughies - two scorpions -
and both are from the desert.
Now, one of these is a killer.
It can floor and kill human beings.
And the other one is almost harmless.
Can you guess which one?
No? I'll show you.
This one...
Aah! [Bleep] [Bleep]
This one is the harmless one.
Oh, yes, it just got me.
Absolutely got me. And it draws blood.
But the venom is not half as bad as that of a bee.
She's so strong
that she would rarely use her sting for catching prey.
She would use it only really in the last possible defense
if somebody is hassling her
or if she feels really threatened.
A little bit like this. Look.
See, there it goes.
Aah, yeah. Hey, hey, hey, hey.
She's pushing. She's nudging.
Look at that.
And the funny thing is it doesn't even hurt.
Now, the other one, that's the nasty one.
And there's a very good reason for it.
The bark scorpion hunts out on tree trunks and rocks where it can be seen
and is vulnerable to attack, just like the bullet ant.
So it uses venom,
not only to catch prey but also for defense against predators.
My TV crew has rigged another surprise for me.
I'm not sure what a walk on the beach will teach me
about bark scorpion stings, but I'm sure I'll find out.
For this simple demonstration about the bark scorpion,
I was asked to walk past that girl on the beach there.
How easy can that be?
Aah! Oh!
That's nasty.
Aah! Oh!
Aah! Oh! Aah.
What is that? It's so small.
Oh, that's a cattle prod.
Look, that's 10,000 volts or something.
Shall I'll get you? Go.
Good grief!
Oh, not fair.
Shows you, though, if you're small in stature,
and you've got something that is really worthwhile as a tool,
you can floor anybody.
The little black scorpion's powerful punch is a neurotoxin venom...
...that's killed hundreds of people in Mexico and in US.
Some scorpions can decide how bad they want to be.
Some of two kinds of venomed one just causes pain.
But, if the treat continues, they will turn on deadly venom.
As our towns move into the deserts,
we meet more scorpions...
...and another bug that likes to join us in the bathroom.
As American settlers moved west,
built homes on the desert,
the deadly black widow moved in with them.
It had a fatal attraction to the smallest room around the house.
The outhouse.
The relationship between man and bugs has never been,
shall we say, a comfortable one.
And especially the black widow spider's
left a trail of victims and destruction.
Ewwww! [Chuckles]
What a top spot for a spider to hang out.
It's got everything a decent black widow would want.
Now, for these spiders,
outdoor toilets were merely the beginning
of their long association with humans.
I reckon they went a couple of steps further
and are now saying, "Modern cities and urban habitats?
Bring it on!"
Many towns and cities have now spread across
a lot of black widow territory.
And that spells danger for us.
In the last 25 years there have been numerous
black widow spider bites reported
but, thankfully, only four confirmed deaths.
It's the female of the species who's the bad bug,
and I'm keen to meet the lady up close.
This is what I call a prime piece of real estate.
There she is in an old clay pot.
Nice and sheltered. Big web.
And, of course, in an area with a lot of rubbish.
A lot of other insects. A lot of flies.
A lot of food.
She sits in the back of the pot, waiting.
The web is right out here.
In the web there's some other little bits and pieces.
There's some food hanging in suspended animation right here.
Little fly covered with silk.
Now, we all know that they're venomous.
But the reason they use their venom is very, very simple.
You see, spiders haven't invented fridges yet.
So when they catch prey,
they want to keep it as fresh as possible
if they don't want to feed on it yet.
So what you do is you wrap it up into silk,
you give it a little bite of venom,
a little bit of poison so that you just don't kill your prey,
and it stays okay in the web for four or five days.
Perhaps black widows are supervenomous
because they are small and vulnerable,
just like bullet ants and bark scorpions.
But the good news is that, like all spiders,
they really don't want to bite us.
Now, black widows are normally not very aggressive at all.
But you've got to be very careful.
They are venomous. And don't try this at home.
But when you get a spider like this that falls onto your hand
or bungees onto your hand, don't pick it up.
Put it back just like that,
and put it back where she belongs.
And she believe you're alone.
Mother black widow lays several egg clusters in a season.
But newly hetched black widow spiderlings have a clever way of going new places...
...where had meeting you people.
They climb up to a windy side,
make a long piece of sac...
...use it like a parachute to take the disguise.
I can't believe.
They can blow from miles and miles and whereever they land...
...it could be a forest,
an office building,
or your backyard,
that will be the widows you home.
A black widow spider isn't really as bad as its reputaion,
but next, the most deadly spider in the world.
Look at this - a bustling metropolis with lots of activity
and heaps of people.
4 million, in fact.
Because this is Sydney, Australia.
Now, let's take a step back in time 300 years.
Ah, that's better.
Clean, pristine, undisturbed bush.
Now, it was in this particular area,
perhaps only a couple of dozen square miles in size,
that there once lived a very unique species of spider -
a funnel-web spider.
On warm summer evenings,
male funnel-webs would come out of their silk-lined nests
and go wandering through the bush looking for a mate.
Their journeys could take them miles from home.
And that's the way life was for perhaps millions of years.
And then...
200 years ago, the city of Sydney was built
right on top of funnel-web spiders' home territory.
So, what did these spiders do?
Well, nothing.
The males keep on wandering, just like they always did.
Now known as the Sydney funnel-web,
the suburbs are their new bush.
And if their romantic journey should take them near a house,
they are likely to come in.
Trouble is,
they're probably the most venomous spiders on the planet.
When cornered, they can be really aggressive,
and 13 people have been killed in the Sydney area -
but none since antivenin was discovered in 1981,
even though 30 to 40 people are bitten each year.
They normally eat beetles and cockroaches,
so it's actually quite a mystery
why the venom of male funnel-webs is so poisonous...
...to humans and other primates.
I've caught one in the act here in the old garage,
walking around.
Can't stay here, mate.
Some of them are more aggressive than others.
If they rear up, you know they mean business.
You have to be very careful with puffs of wind.
This is rearing behavior.
Universal language for "Danger - Stay out of my way. "
I'm gonna try something here.
I've got a theory that...
...a spider just doesn't bite the ground that it's walking on.
It's got to have a good reason to be aggressive and to attack
if it's under attack itself.
I'm gonna try and let it walk over my hand.
I think.
This, believe it or not, is not an act of foolishness.
Ah, look at it.
I've handled bugs, good and bad, for over 20 years.
I know when it is safe.
And I know that venom is precious to a spider.
They don't want to waste a drop.
And they will only attack when threatened.
Ooh, that was close.
Ugh.
God, I don't believe I did that.
[Gasping]
But please, if you live in Sydney
or anywhere there are venomous spiders, don't you try this.
My journey to find the baddest bugs enters a swamp.
This could be anywhere in the tropics.
I'm Ruud Kleinpaste, and I'm on the trail
of a bug that's so unbelievably bad,
it can be linked to the deaths of millions of humans in the last thousand years.
I think I can hear something.
Yeah.
It hasn't found me yet.
These bad bugs love to feed on us,
and they can find us from a long way off by smell.
Of course, I'm talking about mosquitoes,
and these ones are in the laboratory,
where researchers use a special machine to study
what kind of smells mosquitoes are most attracted to.
This is how it works.
Lots of mosquitoes in these containers,
and some pipes and tubes in which you can put an attractant,
and then you can measure the response.
Number one, I know breath attracts them - carbon dioxide.
I've got a sachet of artificial carbon dioxide here,
which I'm going to put in this chamber.
Upsy-daisy you are.
See what happens.
And there they go, straight for the carbon dioxide.
It really turns them on.
If I would go "hoo!" and breathe a bit more...
...they would even like that better.
So breath.
This is another one.
I put my hand in here, open that one up.
This shows you that the chemicals on my hand -
the sweat and the body odors - are also a very good stimulant
for those female mosquitoes to grab me, to get hold of me.
But I've got something else.
I've got the odor of all odors.
I haven't washed those for a couple of days,
so I hope it's not going to kill them.
[Chuckles]
No, it doesn't.
They're actually - [laughs]
They really like this stuff. Isn't that amazing?
It's like Swiss cheese to a mosquito -
big foot odor, big sweat.
Mmm!
Only female mosquitoes come after us.
They want the protein in our blood
to help develop their eggs.
[Mosquito buzzing]
They find us first
by locking on the carbon dioxide in our breath.
They can detect us from over 100 feet away.
When they get closer, they smell our skin.
Mosquitoes react to over 300 different skin chemicals.
And, look, there they are, going straight for my fingers.
These mosquitoes can take four times their own body weight of my blood.
That means that they become four times heavier...
...than they are when they started.
And that means that their abdomens really have to stretch
and let in more and more blood.
And if you look really carefully,
you can see that they eject water
with little droplets from their abdomen,
just to make room for a bit more blood.
They really want as much protein as they can get.
Different mosquitoes have favorite animal hosts.
These striped Aedes aegyptii love human blood.
They live in the tropics and like to live in our houses.
Problem is,
each one is a potentially loaded gun full of nasty disease.
So am I in danger?
Thankfully, not from these little ladies.
They are laboratory-bred and disease-free.
But you can imagine that, if these would have...
...things like yellow fever or dengue inside them,
I would be a sitting duck.
[Buzzing]
Aedes mosquitoes spread yellow fever and dengue fever
by sucking up disease from the blood of an infected person
and passing it on to others.
The disease multiplies in a new host,
rupturing red blood cells and causing severe fever -
fever that affects millions and kills thousands of people each year.
Next, a bug that wants to hurt us in a big way.
The baddest bugs in this show
were bred in Brazil in the 1950s.
They escaped and reached the U.S. in 1990,
and they're spreading fast.
They're Africanized honeybees, or killer bees.
They look just like normal honeybees,
but they are superaggressive in defense of their queen.
If an intruder comes near,
thousands of bees will attack and give chase for over a mile.
Hundreds of people have been killed by this modern bad bug.
You generally don't mess around with killer bees, I was told.
[Laughs]
And that means full suit and great care.
Ooh.
I'm in Arizona, and killer-bee expert Justin Schmidt
is taking me to a killer-bee nest.
We must be careful.
Even a noise or vibration could cause an attack.
And when killer bees attack, most of the hive will swarm,
and I don't want that, and Justin doesn't, either.
There it is, up there - the killer-bee colony.
The less people, the better,
so I'm going to wish you good luck and bon voyage.
[Chuckling] Oh, thank you.
I'll need it. I'll be very careful.
See ya.
Must be careful.
There's a huge nest of killer bees there.
And you - you can hear them buzz from right here.
Now, I don't want to disturb them,
because when they're disturbed, they attack.
When they attack, they sting.
And when they sting, they die, and I don't want that to happen.
But I've got to be very, very quiet and very careful.
But what will be nice is to have a look inside the nest
and to see how they react.
Don't forget, I'm downwind from them.
And I'm going to put this little camera inside...
...and see what I can find.
Oh, boy, guard bees.
Oh, amazing, they haven't seen me yet.
Oh, sensational. This has never been done before.
Oh, look, they're investigating the camera now.
[Chuckles] Wonderful!
Oh, God, the noise - the noise.
Whoa, whoa, here they come. I've got to get out, folks.
I've got to get out. No, this is not safe.
I've got to get out.
I'm on. I'm moving.
Better get out.
It's a bit safer here, but I think I'll come back tonight.
I reckon it's a lot safer in the dark.
When I approach the nest at night,
I expect the bees to be at rest, but they're not.
They are still aggressive after my earlier visit.
As I approach, they approach me... on foot.
They climb my boots and my legs. It's amazing.
Even though this is night,
they are still alert, still superaggressive.
They start stinging. It's time to get out of here.
But there will be no escape from the killer bees
tomorrow morning.
My journey to find the world's baddest bugs
ends here today in the Arizona desert.
I didn't sleep last night.
I kept thinking about the crazy thing I've agreed to do.
Not too sure about this.
[Sighs]
And it's hot already. I hope the bees like the warmth.
Um, in there, I think.
I really am nervous. Hmm.
You'd be, too, if you were about to have thousands of killer bees
put on you without any protective clothing.
Going to have an exciting day.
Hmm, this must be my torturer, entomologist Norm Gary.
- Are you well? - Hi. Norm.
Yeah, we're going to have some excitement here.
I have no idea what's gonna happen.
So tell me, what do I do?
The first thing you do is not panic.
No matter what happens, don't panic, because that's bad.
Okay, so, I reel- I - I - relax.
- You relax totally. - As much as I can.
How can anyone relax with 50,000 bees on their face, eh?
Uh, how many?
Well, at least 50,000 bees are here today.
Okay.
We hope they're all in a good mood.
[Buzzing]
Going to sting a lot, so...
He puts repellent around my eyes.
My sleeves and cuffs are taped
to prevent bees getting into my clothing and stinging me.
Norm Gary is a bee expert
and has worked a lot with killer bees,
but what we are planning is very risky.
[Buzzing]
- This is a- - Hey - I mean, hang on.
Is this it?
That's it, Ruud.
It's not beautiful, but it's functional.
This is a small vial of liquid.
It's a pheromone complex, actually - many pheromones -
bee pheromones combined together.
So, you can already see, the bees are showing interest in it,
even before I open the vial.
Yes.
So in order to attract the bees to you
and get them to cluster on you,
we're going to place little droplets of this
wherever we want the bees to come.
Wow, they're really responding.
Just little droplets here and there.
The pheromone is the key to what we are going to do.
It's the same chemical that a queen produces
when she flies from an overcrowded hive to encourage workers to follow her.
That's why they will come to me, and that's why I'm doing this -
to prove the power of the pheromone.
I trust that it will communicate to these killer bees
that they should not attack me.
Just to be on the safe side,
I have a fistful of medications here,
most anything for any purpose.
And we'll take good care of you if you get stung.
Okay, so that's if I go absolutely out.
All right, are we ready?
- I'm ready, mate. - Very good.
[Bees buzzing]
Ready?
Ready? Ready?
What am I doing here?
Once a few bees are in position,
then they are quite attracted to the other bees.
So this is gonna build up now, and it's going to alarm you.
There's no question about it.
What's even more alarming is what Norm says next.
This is the first time I've ever used
Africanized, so-called killer bees, on a person.
As the bees go on, I start to panic.
500 stings will kill me,
and there must be close to 500 on me already.
But I must have confidence in Norm and confidence in the bees.
I have to believe they only attack
if they have a queen or a hive to defend,
and today, I'm their queen.
If you get stung,
I want you to let me know right away.
I will.
If you can't say anything with your mouth
because you're covered, just go, "Ugh," like that.
When I first did this, I was terrified.
A sting is what I'm most afraid of.
If one killer bee stings, it will release a sting pheromone.
That's the signal for a mass attack.
It is bizarre. It is a weird sensation.
It is frightening as hell.
It is really frightening, because you feel
that they're all going for you, which is what they do.
Which is what they do, isn't it, Norm? They go for me.
They're going for you because you smell like the queen bee.
- Hmm. [Ryuud chuckles] - That's why. Yeah.
The biggest queen in town.
Oh, gosh!
It's hard to scoop the residual bees.
I'm going to fling them in the air downwind from you,
and they will smell their way up
and come and join the other bees.
So, on the count of 3- 1... 2... 3.
How many more do you have?
Well, I would say, maybe you have 30% of the -
Oh!
I can go ahead and release the others quickly.
Can I put my arms down?
- Oh, yes, just keep them down. - Okay.
As long as they're - Sorry, I'm getting tense.
Just relax.
As Norm releases the bees,
they come flying onto me at great speed.
It's like riding a motorbike through a swarm.
I'm getting really tired.
At this point, you should start feeling a lot of weight.
Yes, I can feel weight.
The bees are heavy. About 3,000, 4,000 bees per pound.
And you have at least a half pound on your hat alone.
Yeah.
I can hear them so close-up...
that they feel as if they're living in my ears,
and it's, like, deafening.
I can - Honestly, I cannot hear anything that you're saying.
You have to shout.
I have to learn to relax and look up straight.
I can't see a thing.
The bees are shading my eyes.
Can you see that? I can hardly see a thing now.
It's awful.
Under the weight of 50,000 bees, I'm feeling totally isolated.
I'm starting to panic again.
I want this to end now.
Please.
Ruud, I thought you might like to see
how you appear in the mirror, so...
- Oh, no... - Take a look.
Oh, you're joking.
Oh, no, look at this!
Ah, this is amazing.
Hmm.
This is what you call ultimate trust in insects.
They're not out to kill us.
That's not what they're about.
They're about to defend their honey,
because we always steal it,
and I reckon this is the most powerful way of finding that out.
[Buzzing continues]
Okay, Ruud, it's time to get these bees off.
[Puffing]
A little bit on your cheek here, huh, to start with?
- Whoops. - Ugh!
I'm sorry. My fault.
I'm stung! I'm stung!
Will they attack?
Thank God, they stay calm.
I can't believe it.
I've done it.
But don't you do any of the things
you've seen me do on this show.
You have to be an expert to face up to the world's baddest bugs
an expert and a little bit crazy.
Ow! Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!
You are essentially free of bees, my good man.
Wow.
And you got two stings. Yeah.
Well, I'm sorry about that, but you know
it could have been 50,000...
- Yeah, I know... - Under other circumstances.
I've never done anything like this in my life,
and, um, I feel that I put my trust in the bees
and what I know about them and entered their world.
And I'll tell you what you are constantly aware,
if you make one such thing as a wrong move, you're history.
Oops. That's it. You got to play their game.
What a stunt to finish on.
But we've done it. Yeah, we've done it!
[Laughing]
Whoo-hoo!
[Screaming]
Does it taste bad?
Hoo!
[Screaming]
Ah, you did it!
Aye!
I call.
That's right, I did.
Whoa! Okay.
I'd like another one.
Ah! Ah, ah.
Yeah-ha!
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