Newly discovered stick insect is world's longest at over half a meter

The bug you're seeing here is no doubt creepy as hell, but it also happens to be a new species of stick insect, and one that is now believed to be the world's longest insect in general. Discovered in China in 2014 in the Guangxi Zhuang region, scientists say it belongs to the Phryganistria genus, and measures an incredible 62.4 centimeters long.

The specimen of the new stick insect species was found by the Insect Museum of West China's Zhao Li when out in the field. Farmers in the region had reported sightings of the insect for years, prompting Zhao to begin his search for the stick that was described as being the same thickness of an adult's index finger.

Zhao told China's Xinhua news agency that he was collecting insects in Liuzhou City, on a 1,200-meter-tall mountain. He first noticed the insect by its shadow, believing it was a tree twig — which is what the species is supposed to look like. "As I went near, I was shocked to find the huge insect's legs were as long as its body," Zhao said.

The previous world record holder for world's longest insect was another stick species that was found in 2008. Zhao's specimen has topped it by almost 6 centimeters. However, after bringing it back to the IMWC for study, it laid six eggs, with the smallest offspring already measuring 26 centimeters long. So it may not be long before one of these youngsters steals the record.