Insectapalooza Invades Cornell
October 18, 2013
ITHACA -- (WENY) Creepy, crawly. This may look like something out of your worst nightmare. But these little guys aren't so bad. And Cornell University wants to show you why.
"Our goal has really been to show just the combination of- bugs are really interesting. And that's how we started Insectapalooza," said Dr. Linda Rayor.
Dr. Linda Rayor came up with the idea of Insectapalooza ten years ago, hoping to spread the bug love.
"Within an hour of opening people were going, 'this is amazing.' We ended up with 1,200 people showing up," added Dr. Rayor.
And it's been growing ever since, with over 25 different exhibits, a live butterfly room, pollinatin rooms and Linda's specialty, spiders.
"There's a lot of spiders that I'm showing. So I'm showing tarantulas, scorpions, a bunch of different coach roaches, we have walking sticks."
It gives Dr. Rayor, other professors and their students the chance to show why they love these creatures so much.
"There's tons of activities where you're learning about all the amazing diversity of insects and the cool things that they do, but you don't have to touch them if you don't want to. Of course if you do, we have tons of opportunities for you to play with them," said Heather Connelly, a grad student at Cornell University.
At Insectapalooza, you'll see bugs you've never even heard of before.
Dr. Rayor said, "when was the last time you saw one of these guys?"
Or ever seen before.
She added, "you know if you were in the tropics you might be finding these guys in the tropics or outhouses or in big buttress trees in the rainforest but if you're not there you're really not seeing these animals. They're animals that I study.
They're just cool, they're just totally cool."
Even I got to face my fear. This little, well, big bug wasn't so bad. Insectapalooza seems to give, even the biggest bug fearers like myself, more of an appreciation for these creatures. And the biggest reward for people like Dr. Rayor is passing that appreciation for nature on to the next generation.
"We're getting kids who are really excited about insects and spiders and all sorts of arthropods. They're really excited about it and want to learn more," said Dr. Rayor.
After spending sometime learning about these guys. They actually are pretty cool. I learned they're not so scary after all.
Insectapalooza 2013 is Saturday, October 19th from 9AM to 3PM at Cornell University, Comstock Hall. $2.00 entrance fee.