Podcast: How Fast Can the World’s Fastest Insect Fly?
by Ryan Schleeter
February 16, 2016
Check out episode 11 of Completely Optional Knowledge, the podcast that answers questions you never knew you had. Some things in life are #CompletelyOptional — satisfying your curiosity doesn’t have to be one of them.
Completely Optional Knowledge listener Stephen Rang wants to know how fast he would have to run (or drive, as it turns out) to flee the world’s fastest known insect. So we’re off to the races with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ Chris Goforth, who informs us that this particular insect can reach flying speeds of up to 70 mph — and it’s probably not one you would expect.
It turns out the winner of this insect 50-yard dash of your nightmares — a type of moth called the black cutworm — is both pretty rare and pretty gross looking, probably because it’s most often photographed as a larva.
So instead of forcing you to confront that image, instead we’re bringing you a visual representation of what we imagine to be its internal larval monologue:
Say, could we bug you for a question?
A question for Completely Optional Knowledge, that is! To appear on the show and have your burning curiosities satisfied, send us a question today!