The Attack of the Killer Lionfish Bug

When I think of the moment in my life when I’ve been the most terrified, I am transported back in my mind to the time when I was 8 years old and playing in a field next to our house in Connecticut. It was a beautiful summer’s day, and I was enjoying the sunshine. Then I felt something touch the back of my leg.

When I looked down, there was this… thing. I can still see it clearly. It was the strangest bug I’ve ever seen in my life. It was about 6 inches across when you included all its long, spiny protrusions. It looked very delicate and beautiful and menacing at the same time. It was all the more scary because I had no idea what it was or what it might do. It kind of looked like a skinny colorful airborne lionfish.

I didn’t know if it was poisonous, so I froze. Then I burst into tears and screamed for my mother at the top of my lungs. Repeatedly. But she couldn’t hear me. It felt like I was stuck there for hours. My heart was pounding. I’m sure it was probably only a few minutes before it gracefully floated away. It really did look like it was floating through the air. I didn’t see any wings.

When I ran screeching into the house and described it to my mother, she didn’t take me seriously despite, or perhaps because of, my hysteria. She’d never heard of such a thing. (To this day I hate it when I’m not taken seriously.)

Two years passed, and even I was beginning to think that maybe I had imagined that creature. Then one day I was sitting on the back porch of the house we had recently moved to, and another one floated up. It landed on a decorative shell we had sitting there, and seemed to be trying to climb inside. I ran into the house to get my mother, but she wasn’t taking me seriously yet again, and by the time I got her to come out on the porch (while I stood in the doorway ready to bolt inside) the thing had moved on.

To this day I have no idea what I saw. I think I’d feel better if I knew, but when you Google “bug that looks like a lionfish” all you get, predictably, are pictures of lionfish.

From an adult perspective I know that my terror stemmed from the unknown, and the fact that I was unsure if I was safe, and realized that no one was going to come to my rescue. My continuing trauma was not being taken seriously and having to question my own sanity. No kid should have to experience that.

I sure wish I knew what that bug was.

[Image credit: wikipedia.org]
Lionfish. [Image credit: wikipedia.org]
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40 thoughts on “The Attack of the Killer Lionfish Bug

      1. I actually googled “bug that looks like a lionfish”. Brought me here. I sometime have hallucinations when waking from REM. My eyes are physically open while I’m dreaming, and I see things that interact with the environment. I saw one of these bug-like, lionfish type of creatures, sneaking toward me. I tried to scare it off, and it floated up in the room. I watched it as long as I could, and it faded away as I woke. It was the biggest one I’ve seen yet. I’d say about 1.5ft tall, and about 1ft wide. I’ve seen them in mass quantities in the past, while waking from REM. They were everywhere.

  1. lyn sutton

    I’ve seen and was bitten by it and got a bad reaction. No one knew what I was talking about when I described it so I gave up hope of ever knowing what it is.

  2. lyn sutton

    Did it look something like these?

    http://bugguide.net/node/view/261571
    http://www.calacademy.org/explore-science/treehoppers-helmets-and-wings
    Seen head on with wings spread the yellow ones do resemble mine. They come in so many colors and bizarre shapes. Google treehoppers images for more photos.
    I found an article that said they don’t bite but they do occasionally pierce flesh with their feeding tubes mistaking it for a shrub. I just got an allergic reaction to it that wouldn’t heal and required minor surgery a year later. Hope this helps.

      1. lyn sutton

        Mine wasn’t as large but was spindly, ethereal and otherworldly. Startled by it’s sting, I flung it off my hand and never saw it again.

  3. lyn sutton

    New theory…when cold hard science fails I turn to Night Vale logic…alien biological entities disguised as bugs…but why? I’ll let you answer that one.

      1. lyn sutton

        Sneaky aliens lurking in the shadowy spaces we overlook when cleaning. What do they want? I sense a deeper story here for you to write. 🙂

  4. lyn sutton

    There are always repercussions when exposing alien agendas but someone has to do it. You could start a new blog…Tales from an Anonymous Whistle-blower. I’ll be your faithful follower.

  5. lyn sutton

    Ever determined to solve this mystery, I seem to discover even more mysterious creatures, like this talented shape-shifter that can mimic a lionfish and 14 other entities.

  6. lyn sutton

    I figured you would appreciate it’s AWESOMENESS. I wonder if they’d make good pets? I’d have to give mine 15 different names. One for each morph.

      1. lyn sutton

        Just what the world needs…another me. Now that is a frightening thought.
        Speaking of frightening…looking forward to your Halloween Post.
        I’m thinking I’ll dress as the mimic octopus this year…that will be some costume and I’ll beat it at it’s own game.

  7. Jan Jones

    I had something on the wall in our house yesterday and the only way I could describe it to my daughter was that it reminded me of a lionfish. I grabbed the closest thing I could find, which happened to be the bathroom plunger, and put it over it and yelled, maybe screeched, for my husband to get me a piece of cardboard. I transported it outside and the last time I saw it it was crawling across the driveway. I’ve tried googling and the only thing I found was your article, which I enjoyed.

  8. lyn sutton

    Haven’t they heard about Viagra? Seems a lot easier to obtain than their many alternative concoctions. Wonder why they need so much help with their libidos in the first place. 🙂

  9. lyn sutton

    Challenge accepted. Maybe I’ll open with, ” Have you ever been attacked by a killer lionfish bug?”, and work up to the libido question while directing them to your blog. 🙂

      1. lyn sutton

        Well since I don’t speak Chinese…

        Will you be wanting video proof or will my retelling of the facts suffice?

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