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This New Book Showcases the Gross Side of Hawai‘i


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A recently released book, Hawai‘i’s Strangest Ickiest Wildest Book Ever! promises a collection of trivia “so disgusting, you won’t even notice you’re learning.” Big promise. But flipping through it, we found stuff we hadn’t heard before, even as lifelong residents. Here, a couple of excerpted Hawai‘i facts from the book that were new to us and, yes, quite disgusting.

➸ The Hyposmocoma molluscivora, a rare caterpillar found only on Maui, dines on the flesh of snails by tying them down with silk over the course of an hour and then crawling inside the trapped snails’ shells and eating them alive.

➸ When whales “drop a deuce,” it’s hard to miss. You’ll see a huge orange or reddish cloud in the water. “An oceanic skid mark the size of two Volvos,” as one observer put it.

➸ Think B-52 cockroaches are bad? There’s another Hawai‘i cockroach species, Diploptera punctate, that sprays a nasty fluid from its abdomen when attacked—a defense against hungry rodents.

Disclosure: Author Kathryn Drury Wagner is a former managing editor of HONOLULU Magazine. Hawai‘i’s Strangest Ickiest Wildest Book Ever!, Mutual Publishing, $9.95.

 

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