New Zealand is best known as the bafflingly beautiful country where Peter Jackson filmed "The Lord of the Rings." Even though Middle-earth is a fictional setting, New Zealand is about as close as you can get to a fantasy world.
Because of its isolation, plant and animal life in New Zealand has developed a bit differently. As a result, the country is home to rich biodiversity and some seriously unique critters.
And one of those creatures is the terrifyingly large (but totally harmless) weta bug.
Wetas are among the largest insects in the animal kingdom. Up close, they look a lot like mutant grasshoppers. Multiple species of these creepy bugs can be found in different regions across New Zealand.
Most of them have powerful and fearsome-looking mandibles, as you can see in the picture below.
Luckily for us humans, wetas are not aggressive and hardly ever attack people. Typically, their defense strategy is to put on a display of dominance and run away.
That being said, when they do bite, things can get really painful. I don't recommend imitating the person in the video below. Ouch!
I'm not a fan of creepy crawlies, and footage like this would normally make me never want to visit New Zealand, but I think I'm going to face my fears and deal with these bugs for the sake of taking in the beautiful scenery one day.