Did you know that these small creatures are one of the most important architects of the ecological balance in nature?
The remarkable features of insects are being discovered on an almost daily basis by scientists, proving that insects are amazing examples of creation. There are such intricate balances in the creation of each of these creatures, that the infinite power of All-mighty Allah, and the fine details, variety and infinite wisdom with which He creates, are clearly seen in these miraculous creatures. In the creation of the insects, Our Lord, Allah displays His infinite superior knowledge and wisdom just as He does in everything else. In one verse of the Qur'an it is stated as follows:
“Allah is not ashamed to make an example of a gnat or of an even smaller thing. As for those who have faith, they know it is the truth from their Lord. But as for those who are disbelievers, they say, ‘What does Allah mean by this example?’ He misguides many by it and guides many by it. But He only misguides the deviators.” (Surat al-Baqara, 26)
Now let’s look at the amazing qualities of these small creatures, these manifestations of the infinite power of our Lord, as is everything else in the universe.
Remarkable insects with special systems:
Some insect species have defensive mechanisms, such as the appearance of a more dangerous species, or they have peculiar body shapes, which all demonstrate All-mighty Allah’s infinite power.
The Smallest Insect:
The fairyfly is considered amongst the smallest insects in the world. They are so tiny, they can go through the holes in a mosquito net. Their family, Mymaridae, includes Alaptus magnanimus the male of which is only 0.21 millimeters long.
The Insect with the Most Interesting Shape:
This insect, commonly known as the thornbug, (Membracidae –Homoptera) has a thorn-like structure at the back of its body, and is a master of camouflage, showing the great creation artistry of All-mighty Allah. This structure is identical to a thorn, thereby making it very difficult for a predator to find the insect.
The Mimic; Viceroy Butterfly:
The larvae of the Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) feeds on milkweed and therefore absorb the toxins in this plants, which make them poisonous as well. The Viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus) as if knowing this, mimics the appearance of the poisonous Monarch butterflies to protect themselves.
The Most Dangerous Insects:
All-mighty Allah created some insects with some very formidable qualities despite their small sizes. Some of these qualities are so dangerous they can hurt or even kill human beings. This, of course, helps us humans understand our weakness better. This is only a tiny insect but it can kill a person or destroy crops. All-mighty Allah explains this fact in this following verse:
“Mankind! an example has been made, so listen to it carefully. Those whom you call upon besides Allah are not even able to create a single fly, even if they were to join together to do it. And if a fly steals something from them, they cannot get it back. How feeble are both the seeker and the sought!.” (Surat al-Hajj, 73)
The Most Dangerous Ant:
The black Bulldog ant of Australia can kill people just by stinging and biting.
The Most Fatal Spiders:
Twenty seven out of 35.000 different types of spiders can kill people. The brown recluse (Loxosceles Reclusa) in the USA, the black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus) and the Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria Nigriventer) all have very strong neurotoxic venom. The single bite of the black widow is fifteen times more fatal than that of many venomous snakes. The Brazilian wandering spider on the other hand has a venom that is so powerful, only 0.006 milligram of it can kill a mouse; it was listed in the 2010 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records as the most venomous spider.
The Most Destructive Insect:
Desert grasshoppers migrate from Africa to India in flocks consisting of billions of grasshoppers (so dense, there will be 80 million grasshoppers per square kilometer), and consume 20.000 tons of food on the way and destroy crop lands as a result.
The Loudest Insects:
• The insect order Homoptera, which includes the cicada, are some of the loudest insects, making a sound so loud the sound made by the males can be heard from a distance that is equal to four football pitches, or around 100 meters away.
• African fireflies can make sounds up to 107 decibels, and this is quite close to the sound made by road drilling machines.
The fact that there is such great variety in these sounds, although they are all insects, demonstrates the infinite wisdom and creative artistry of All-mighty Allah.
Champion Insects Mastering Long-Distance Flights:
Dragonflies can fly with a speed of 56 kilometers per hour, while the Hawk Moth can fly at a speed of 54 kilometers per hour. In contrast, a normal person can walk at a speed of only about 5 kilometers per hour. So if humans were to race these insects, the insects would have covered 50 kilometers, while the humans would have traveled only 5 kilometers. It is surely very surprising and thought-provoking that these small insects, which are only one percent the size of human beings, are ten times faster than them.
The Insects Migrating The Longest Distances:
• The Painted Lady (Vanessa Cardui)butterflies, in migrating from Africa to the UK, cover 4,800 kilometers every year;
• Desert grasshoppers (Schistocerca gregaria) cover a distance of 4,500 kilometers every year.
The Insects that are fastest in wing flapping:
• The insects that are the fastest in wing flapping are the biting midges (no-see-ums) and they can flap their feathery wings 62,000 times per minute or1,046 times per second.
• Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) can fly for 1,000 kilometers without stopping. This is equal to a person walking to Ankara from Istanbul, then coming back and repeating two and a half times more.
How far can some insects jump?
• The flea can jump to a distance that is 200 times greater than its body length, and that is the equivalent of a person jumping from the sidewalk onto the top of a 70-story building.
• Grasshoppers can jump to a distance that is eighty times greater than their body length, and in order for a person to do that, he would have to jump over a field that is equal to that of one and a half football pitches, or about 150 meters..
• The clickbeetle can hurl itself 30 centimeters forward simply by jumping.
The Fastest Running Insects:
• Cockroaches can travel a distance that is fifty times longer than their bodies in only a couple of seconds. Their capacities to move thirty centimeters in one second is equal to a sprinter running ninety one meters in only one second. This is surely impossible for a human being.
• The fastest caterpillar, that of the mother-of-pearl moth (Pleurotya ruralisat) has a defense mechanism which makes it move with a speed of thirty eight centimeters per second.
Remarkable Insects with Extraordinary Body Shapes:
The Longest Insects:
• Giant Walking Sticks that are thirty three centimeters long, can be fifty centimeters long when they extendtheir legs.
• The Pharnacia Serratipes, a species of walking stick insect living in Western Malaysia, has a surprising length of fifty six centimeters.
The Heaviest Insect:
• The Goliath beetle in Africa is a very long beetle at 127 millimeters, but the most interesting thing about this beetle is that it weighs 100 gram and is the heaviest beetle in the world. It also destroys wastes and helps clean the environment.
• A water beetle living in South America weighs sixty two grams.
The Most Muscular Beetle:
The scientific facts show that humans have 792 muscles, grasshoppers have 900, and caterpillars an astounding 4000.
The World’s Biggest Butterflies:
• The giant poisonous butterfly known as the the Ornithoptera alexandrae living in the rain forests of Papua New Guinea has a wingspan of twenty eight centimeters..
• The world’s second biggest butterfly lives in the rain forests of Indonesia, has a twenty eight centimeter wingspan, and is called the Goliath Birdwing.
The Most Beautiful Beetle:
The sunset moth, living in Madagascar, is considered as the most beautiful butterfly in the world. It has the colors of sunset, and lives only for one day.
The Strongest Beetle:
A human can only lift 0.86 of his own body weight, but horses are able to carry half of their body weight. However, the Leaf Beetle (Donacia) can lift weights 42.7 times more than their body weight. This is equal to a human lifting 4,500 kg (4.5 tons).
The Insects with the most legs:
Millipedes have 375 pairs of legs. All-mighty Allah created millipedes with a hard skeleton and legs attached to it. And this is not all;. these 375 pairs of legs work in a perfectly coordinated manner to ensure that the insect can walk very fast.
Strong Webs, Perfect Nests:
The Insect with the Biggest Nests:
Termites have the biggest nests. The termite hills in Australia are 6.1 meters wide at the base, while the termite nests have a width of three meters and a height of 12.8 meters in Africa. This is the highest nest structure in the insect world. These termite nests can be so high, they are as tall as four to five story buildings. If we are to compare the height of these nests in proportion to the small size of the termites who build them, we could say that they are actually higher than the highest skyscrapers ever built by humans.
The spider thread is five times stronger than steel and two times stronger than Kevlar (Kevlar is a structure that is four times stronger than steel). This miraculous thread can stretch by 30% of its original length before it breaks.
The Biggest Spider Web:
The tropical orb-weaving spiders can build huge webs that can trap small birds and bats, and that can stretch more than five and a half meters across.
Insects with very complex senses:
Eyes with the most number of lenses:
• The dragonfly's eyes have more than 30,000 lenses
• House flies (Musca domestica) have more than 4,000 lenses.
Insects with the highest sensitivity in tasting:
The red admiral beetle (Vanessa atalanta Linnaeus) and the American Painted Lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui Linnaeus) can distinguish flavors 200 times better than human tongue.
The importance of miraculous living things in nature
Through the Qur'an, our All-mighty Lord calls on us to examine and see the ‘miracles’ in nature,. because everything in nature, living or non-living, has been adorned with signs showing that they were created and demonstrate the power, knowledge and artistry of their Creator. As humans, we are responsible for seeing these signs and coming to know Allah. Just like the rest of the universe, beetles, moths, spiders, caterpillars, and many other creatures both great and small, some so tiny we can't even see them are all equipped with miraculous qualities that demonstrate the Infinite wisdom of our Lord and therefore need to be reflected upon. In one verse of the Qur'an, it is stated as follows:
“In the heavens and earth there are certainly Signs for the believers . And in your creation and all the creatures He has spread about there are Signs for people with certainty (Al-Jathiyya, 3-4)
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