What is left of this ancient volcano, often called “Ball’s Pyramid” emerged from the ocean over 7 million years ago. What’s so amazing about this place? It has a secret, at 225 feet above sea level, hanging on the rock surface, there is a tiny little bush and under that bush two climbers discovered something on this island that should’t exist.
Here is the full story. 13 Miles from Ball’s Pyramid is a larger island called Lord Howe Island. On this island there used to be an insect that was made famous for its gigantic size, its a stick insect that masquerades as a piece of wood and was so large that the Europeans called it a “tree lobster”! As big as a man’s hand it measured about 12 centimeters long and the heaviest flightless stick insect in the world.
After a supply ship crashed into Lard Howe Island in 1918, rats that were aboard the ship decimated the population of the insects and they became extinct. After 1920, there wasn’t a single sighting and by 1960 the Lord Howe stick insect, Dryococelus australis, was noted as extinct. But the sticks were never “officially” declared extinct.
Fast forward to 2001, when two Aussie scientists decided to take a closer look at the species or what was left of it at least. David Priddel and Nicholas Charlie boated over to Ball’s Pyramid from Lord Howe Island, where they proceeded to climb the ancient volcano’s side to about 500 feet, where they discovered a few crickets. Not completely happy with the findings they started to make their way down, where they encountered excrement from a VERY large insect. Since the “tree lobsters” are nocturnal creatures, they came back after dark and investigated. What they found shocked them, it was the thought-to-be extinct giant bugs!
Now the team is working on preserving the species.
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