Beware of the Beetle

God: Hello little beetles! I’m God.

Beetles: (trembling) H-hello…

God: Don’t worry, I’m very fond of beetles. Even people who don’t believe I exist know that.

Female Beetle: Oh, good.

God: You can never have too many beetles! There’s just no end to the things you can do with them. Well, no end to the things I can do with them, anyway. Iridescent beetles, golden beetles, beetles with glow-in-the-dark bums….


Male Beetle: (craning to look at own bum) Are we going to get a surprise when the lights go out?

God: No, you don’t glow in the dark.

Female Beetle: Oh, good. Nothing like the quiet life.

God: Your bum’s far more clever than that! For one thing, it swivels. Go on, give it a wiggle.

Male Beetle: Would you look at that!

Female Beetle: I can do three quarters of a full circle!

God: And that’s just the beginning! Internally, there’s a chamber over here, and a chamber over there, and this one holds hydrogen peroxide, and –

Male Beetle: (faintly) I’m not sure I want to hear any more.


God: Well, anyway, if a predator starts to give you any trouble, the two chambers compress, filling this chamber here – don’t worry, it’s reinforced –

Female Beetle: (weakly) Oh, good…

God: and then…

Female Beetle: (quivering) And then?

God: C₆H₄(OH)₂(aq) + H₂O₂(aq) → C₆H₄O₂(aq) + 2H₂O(l)!

Male Beetle: er, what?

God: In laybeetle’s terms… BOOM!

Beetles: (quavering) Boom?

God: (enthusiastically) A boiling hot spray of caustic chemicals at seventy-something kilometres per hour! Like nothing ever seen before! The predator won’t know what’s hit it! Even if it’s already eaten you, one blast of this and it’ll puke you right up again!
Oh, they’ve fainted. Here, seraph, go pop this little couple under a leaf somewhere out of harm’s way until they come round. And when they do, tell them I’m delegating them the job of making more bombardier beetles. I’ve made two and I’m moving on to something new. Now… How about a beetle that fakes its own death?

Weevil playing dead (9176820911)

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