A video has been posted online showing an insect with large hairy tentacles growing from its belly. Within just a few days, the video has gained almost 40 million views.
Footage filmed in Indonesia shows it moving around on a floor with four hairy tendrils sticking out from its mid-section at the end of its caterpillar body.
Social media users joked how it had been sent to Earth to “destroy us”, while others marvelled over how it was an example of the “evolution” of insects.
But experts were less shocked and pointed out that it was indeed a moth – specifically known as a Creatonotos Gangis – that is native to both Southeast Asia and parts of Northern Australia.
The video was posted by the Facebook user Gandik, who lives in Kebumen, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia.
It was shared almost 200,000 times on the social media site where it pulled in more than 10,000 likes and hundreds of comments.
“What devilish creature sent to destroy us is this? I’m leaving Earth by the way… anyone coming?” joked one viewer.
“Give him the keys and tell him the house is yours,” another posted.
Gail Becker wrote: “Now, this is what I call evolution! I have never seen a moth like this one! I hope this is outside on his patio and not inside with those bugs running around his floor! I hope he doesn’t have any kids!”
Experts said the Creatonotos Gangis grows to about 1/2″ in size depending on its diet. Its tentacles – or coremata, which only the males of the species have – emit a scent to attract mates.