Insects are the most diverse group of organisms on our planet. There are around 900,000 different kinds of bugs we know of, representing around 80% of the world's species. Late physicist, biologist, and photographer Andreas Kay dedicated his life to documenting the fascinating insect world. From 2011 until his death in 2019, Kay spent time in Ecuador, where he explored the area’s epic biodiversity. From caterpillars and beetles to spiders and ants, he’s captured all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures. But there’s one particular insect that stands out as particularly special—a flatid planthopper nymph that looks just like a walking piece of popcorn.
Kay shared a video of the strange creature in May 2019, where the tiny insect is seen scurrying across his fingertip. This is no ordinary bug, though—it looks like a tiny cloud or a piece of popcorn resting on little insect legs. There’s a reason for this strange appearance. The insect—which can be found in the Amazon rainforest—is covered with waxy white filaments for protection.
The unusual bug is one of roughly 12,500 known planthopper species on Earth. Planthoppers are insects that closely resemble plants that grow in their own environments. As their name suggests, planthoppers are able to “hop” around from A to B. Kay doesn’t capture this movement in the video, but we’re sure the insect would look just like a popping kernel.
Check out the video below, and find countless other insect videos on Kay's YouTube channel.