See why the bombardier beetle is the most badass insect in the world. Literally.

beetle
Credit: Kanaal van sawadeepat screen shot

Nearly all living creatures have some kind of natural defense, whether it's speed, agility, power, a shell, quills or claws. It's hard out there in the ecosystem, so you have be prepared to fight or flee for your life. 

But on a pound-for-pound basis, few can match the defensive weaponry that evolution has bestowed upon the bombardier beetle. As National Geographic contributor Ed Yong explains:

These insects deliberately engineer explosive chemical reactions inside their own bodies, so they can spray burning, caustic liquid from their backsides. The liquid can reach up to 22 miles per hour, at temperatures of around 100 degrees Celsius. It’s painful to humans ... and potentially lethal to smaller predators like ants.

And, probably, Ant-Man. 

If you want to get all sciency about it, Yong's article will tell you about hydroquinones and p-benzoquinones and stuff. We'd rather focus on the notion of the beetle spraying liquid out of its butt! Ha ha ha!

This story, "See why the bombardier beetle is the most badass insect in the world. Literally." was originally published by Fritterati.

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