Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mantids. I know, right? They're adorable! And for some reason, they seem to have de facto diplomatic immunity! Why?

I ran into a dying mantid last night. It didn't look like it was doing too well--so I performed science's best procedure for testing whether something has died: I jabbed at it with a tube of paper.

It moved! I was surprised and kind of happy for some reason. I talked with a co-worker about it (because when you work third shift, you'll talk about pretty much anything even mildly interesting) and they brought up something I hadn't thought about since I was six.

"Aren't they endangered, and isn't it illegal to kill them?"

I remember having heard that a long time ago, when I was a kid. So I looked it up.

As it turns out, no, they aren't endangered (at least not the ones that we have here) and there has never been any law--state or federal--that prohibits anyone from killing them. I'd like to know where this myth came from! Everybody I know seems to have heard it (and some still believe it's true)!

I think the mantids themselves pushed this forward as a way of protecting themselves. Maybe they prayed to Mantigod to give them some sort of diplomatic immunity.

Now, though, their ruse has crumbled and our all-out war against them and their lies can begin!

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