A chance to stand face-to-face with bugs, eyeball the creepy crawlers and even munch on them is available to visitors to the Canadian Museum's of Nature's new exhibition Bugs: Outside the Box, which opens this Friday.
In a glass terrarium orange and black monarch butterflies flutter among the flowers, while giant stick insects play hide and seek among the branches.
The show includes 16 larger-than-life size models of insects — glorious butterflies and imposing beetles — created in intricate detail by Italian sculptor Lorenzo Possenti, making microscopes unnecessary.
'Creepy crawlers, squishy things'
The museum's vast collection of what seems like every type of insect imaginable is on display, as well as learning games for children, and samples of crunchy, edible bugs. It's an entomologist's dream, or a entomophobiacs nightmare.
"There are two kinds of people like me who love them and like to study them and collect them and experience then and other people who think of them as creepy crawlers squishy things," said the Bob Anderson the Museum's Research Scientist.
Anderson who calls himself "a big kid who loves bugs", says he hopes that visitors to the exhibition will learn to appreciate how important the world's most populace species are to the world's ecosystem.
'If insects ceased to exist the world would die out'
"They play such critical roles in nutrient recycling, ecosystems, food for other kinds of organisms, pollination and they feed on plants — so many different things. Some scientists have said if insects ceased to exist the world would die out in two to three months," said Anderson.
Here's Anderson introducing us to one of his good friends, a hercules beetle.
Bugs: Outside the Box opens this Friday at the Canadian Museum of Nature, and runs until March.