This Caterpillar in Maine Looks Like a Nightmarish Alien
If you live in Maine, you're trained to keep your eye out for one particular caterpillar species. That would be the browntail moth caterpillar, which features all kinds of toxic hairs that can lead to rashes and breathing problems for humans.
The problem is the browntail moth caterpillar looks harmless and even "cute" to some people.
So if the look of a browntail moth caterpillar won't keep you away, we've found one that will. Oh man, is it a doozy.
Shared on Facebook by Stacy Bettencourt, take a look at this caterpillar photographed in Jefferson, Maine. It looks nothing like the kind of caterpillar you stared at in science class.
Instead, it looks much more like the monster that Sigourney Weaver battled in the classic movie "Alien". So what is it?
It's called a monkey slug caterpillar. It's often times mistaken for a spider or the shed skin of a spider in the wild. It exists up and down the east coast, finding respite in orchards the majority of the time. Just like a browntail moth caterpillar, its got plenty of little hairs covering its body.
There was once a myth that those hairs served as tiny "stingers" as a defense against larger predators.
According to featuredcreature, that has essentially been debunked, but those little hairs still can be irritating to some humans on touch. If you run into a monkey slug caterpillar, it's best to just let them get where they're going.
So with halloween not too far off, check out this video of a monkey slug caterpillar moving for a little extra nightmare fuel.