Some bugs are big. Really big. Others are astonishing for different reasons. Maybe they're freakishly strong, like the dung beetle pictured here. Maybe they're extremely venomous. Or maybe they're the most hideous things you've ever seen.
Click through to see some of the world's freakiest insects.
The bullet ant's bite is ranked on the Schmidt Sting Pain Index as the most painful sting of any insect in the world. In fact, victims say it feels like being shot -- hence, its name.
Bullet ants grow up to an inch long and live in rainforests from Nicaragua to Paraguay. They drop from trees onto their prey, unleashing their ferocious bite. Oddly, they do offer a bit of warning: the ants let out an audible shriek before they sting.
Brazil's Satere-Mawe tribe uses the ants in an initiation ceremony for boys becoming warriors. Hundreds of the ants are placed into a long glove made from leaves, which the boy must wear for 10 minutes. His hand and arm eventually become paralyzed from the horrific stings. Because of the venom now in his system, the boy will twitch or shake for days after the ceremony.
As if this didn't sound arduous enough, he must then go through this ritual 20 time -- yes, 20 -- before officially being declared a warrior.
Brazilian Wandering Spider
The Brazilian wandering spider is the world's most venomous spider. Its venom contains a dangerous neurotoxin that causes breathing problems and paralysis, which can lead to asphyxiation and, ultimately, death.
Found in rainforests in South and Central America, the spiders scamper across the jungle floor at night and hunker down in termite mounds or other dark, moist hideaways by day.
In an unusual twist, this spider's bites can cause priapism in males, or erections that last for hours or days and can eventually lead to impotence.
The dung beetle might not be one of the largest insects in the world, but what the dung beetle lacks in size -- it only measures about 1 inch long -- it makes up for in strength. A typical dung beetle can move objects more the 1,400 times its weight. Found in all continents except Antarctica, the dung beetle feeds almost exclusively on feces.
Known for its searing sting and grotesque egg-laying habits, the tarantula hawk is a type of spider wasp that hunts tarantulas to use as hosts and food for its larvae. The wasp can grow up to 2 inches long, with stingers measuring one-third of an inch.
Once it has spied a tarantula, the wasp's hooked claws allow it to latch onto, wrestle with and overcome its prey, paralyzing it with its sting. The wasp then drags the spider to its nest and lays an egg on the spider's stomach.
This wasp larva hatches and feeds on the tarantula's abdomen, keeping the spider alive as long as possible. After several weeks of feeding, the fully grown wasp emerges from the tarantula's stomach.
The tarantula hawk's sting is considered one of the most painful in the world, second only to the bullet ant.
While most people consider mosquitos to be no more than a mere nuisance, these wispy creatures actually rank as the world's deadliest animal, responsible for millions of human deaths every year.
Mosquitos spread a variety of deadly illnesses to humans while not being susceptible themselves. These include yellow fever, West Nile virus, encephalitis, dengue fever and malaria.
In case you ever had doubts, it's best to keep your mosquito repellent within arm's reach.
Thought to be extinct for 80 years, the tree lobster was recently rediscovered clinging to a remote rock in the South Pacific, some 500 feet above water. The 24 tree lobsters found on the rock had congregated around the lone plant that had survived on the tiny island.
No one can definitively say how the creatures got to the rock. Scientists brought four of them to a breeding program that could help ensure the survival of the species. Two of the bugs died in captivity, but the other two, affectionately known as Adam and Eve, went on to successfully reproduce 30 eggs. Tree lobsters can grow up to a whopping 7 inches long.
Charming tree lobster fact: a male tree lobster will sleep with three of its six legs draped protectively over a female.
Japanese Giant Hornet
Measuring 1.5 inches long with a wingspan up to 2.5 inches, the Japanese giant hornet might appear to be a typical, if large, bee. But looks can be deceiving. This hornet ranks as Japan's most deadly animal, killing 40 people per year with its venomous sting.
Next: The World's Biggest Bugs
Devil's Flower Mantis
One of nature's greatest masters of disguise, the devil's flower mantis owes its fame in part to its stunning ability to mimic the look of a flower, and to being one of the largest and rarest mantis species in the world. Known as the "king of all mantids," it typically grows to between 4 and 5 inches long. It's native to several African countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Ethiopia and Tanzania.
Collectors of rare insects covet the devil's flower and pay hundreds of dollars to obtain one, making it one of the most sought-after species in the mantid world.