The next time you absentmindedly brush away a housefly or the itsy-bitsy spider that crosses your path, consider yourself lucky. Some of nature's creatures, like the Hercules beetle pictured here, aren't so easy to dismiss.
The world is home to some ridiculously big insects, including one so huge it's become a bonafide tourist attraction.
Click through to see 12 of the world's biggest bugs.
Native to New Zealand, the giant weta got its name from a Maori word meaning, appropriately, "god of bad looks."
The weta can grow up to 4 inches long (not including legs and antennae) and weigh up to 2.5 ounces, making it among the heaviest insects in the world. More than 70 species of wetas can be found in New Zealand. 16 of them are endangered.
The most gigantic of the longhorn beetle species, the Titan giganteus dwells in the Amazon rainforest and can grow up to a whopping 6.5 inches long. The beetle has become a tourist draw in some South American countries. Certain tour operators even promote sightings of the massive bug.
The Hercules beetle looks a bit like a rhinoceros, with males sporting two enormous horns. Native to Central and South America, these beetles can measure more than 6 inches long.
While they're not the world's biggest beetle species, they are the strongest, and can lift up to 850 times their own weight.
Freaky fact: during mating season, males have been seen using their horns to pick up foes, then slamming them down to break their heads. Ouch.
Goliath Birdeater Spider
Found throughout South America, the goliath birdeater spider (actually an arachnid, not an insect, but so large we wanted to give it a mention) can grow as big as 10 inches across. As its name suggests, it actually eats small birds, as well as lizards, frogs and snakes. It poisons its prey with its venom, then spits digestive juices on it and gulps down the softened mass. Yum.
Female birdeaters have even been known to eat male birdeaters after mating with them.
Giant Long-Legged Katydid
The giant katydid is the largest species of katydids in the world, growing up to 6 inches long. These gentle giants have a leaf-like appearance and can be found mostly in Malaysia, where they use their long antennae to find mates and hunt for bugs.
Odd fact: males are believed to have the largest testes of any animal on Earth in relation to body size: Theirs account for 14 percent of their total weight.
Giant Burrowing Cockroach
Also known as a rhinoceros cockroach, the giant burrowing cockroach can be found in tropical areas of Australia. They're the heaviest cockroach species in the world, weighing up to 1.2 ounces and growing to more than 3 inches long. They really do burrow, often digging as deep as three feet into the earth to make a home.
Giant Walking Stick
The planet's longest insect, the giant walking stick has a lithe body that serves as its camouflage; it resembles the branches and leaves of the trees where it resides. They're found in temperate zones and tropical regions. Females are larger than males and can grow up to 21 inches long.
Giant Water Bug
Resembling a massive cockroach, the giant water bug can grow up to 4 inches long. The creatures are found across the globe. In Thailand, they're a popular street food.
Deep-fried water bugs, anyone?
Interestingly, female water bugs lay their eggs on the backs of males, who carry the eggs until they're ready to hatch.
Named after the Biblical giant, the goliath beetle is a type of scarab beetle. It can grow up to 4.5 inches long and weigh up to 3.5 ounces. They're typically found in tropical African forests. Based on weight and bulk, they're among the largest insects on Earth.
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Giant Camel Spider
Though technically giant camel spiders are arachnids, not insects, we wanted to give a special shout out to these monster creatures. How giant are these camel spiders? They can grow up to a foot long. They look fearsome, but the desert-dwelling spiders are mostly harmless to humans. They have a strong bite but emit no poisonous venom. Their big claim to fame is their speed. They can run up to 10 mph.