April 17, 2019

Daylong event to include celebrity bug-eating contest, attempt at record for largest ant farm, bug encounters, experts and more

Event to include attempt at world record, celebrity bug-eating contest and more.

CHARLOTTE – From horseshoe crabs to tarantulas, Discovery Place Science will be celebrating all kinds of arthropods during a special event Saturday, April 27.

“Arthropods are all around you every day. They include spiders, centipedes, mites, ticks, lobsters, crabs, shrimp, scorpions and a lot more,” says Juliann Chavez, director of Public Experiences at Discovery Place Science. “These invertebrates typically have a segmented body, jointed limbs and an outer shell that molts.”

Arthropod Day will kick off at 9 a.m. at the Museum in Uptown Charlotte and runs throughout the day. Activities taking place include:

Terminix attempting world record for largest ant farm, 10:30 a.m.

Terminix Service, Inc., will attempt to establish a new record for the World’s Largest Ant Farm. The record-breaking attempt, which will take place on Level I of the Museum, begins with a special unveiling during Arthropod Day. The ant farm will include several hundred ants and will be on display at Discovery Place Science through May 11.

Celebrity Bug-Eating Contest, 11 a.m.

Several well-known locals will take part in a celebrity bug-eating contest in which they’ll sample various bugs, ranging from ant larva to tarantulas. Each round will up the ante with the type of bug being consumed. Participants will be timed as to how long it takes them to chew and eat the (dried, dead, food-grade) bugs.

Public Bug-Eating Contest, noon

Arrive early and sign up to be among the 12 Museum visitors to take part in our bug-eating contest. Guests can sign up beginning at 9 a.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis. Participants must be 18 years or older and cannot be allergic to shellfish. Contest winner will receive a one-year, family Membership to Discovery Place Science.

Hear from the experts, various times throughout the day

A variety of bug experts will be on hand to share their arthropod knowledge. Guests include UNCC “ant professor” Dr. Tuan Cao; Tom and Liz Lamb (and their 40 tarantulas); cockroach aficionado Sheila Donatelli; Dawn Flynn from the Schiele Museum; green stink bug expert Dr. Paula Mitchell, Dr. Rebekah Rogers and her mutant fruit fly station; and various other experts.

Insect activities, various times throughout the day

Live caterpillar and cockroach races; bug button making, antenna headbands, honey tasting (of honey made by the Discovery Place Nature bees), live bug encounters, bug eating and more.

Bug Lab traveling exhibition

Created by New Zealand’s world-renowned museum Te Papa in partnership with the Academy Award®-winning studio Weta Workshop, creators of “The Lord of the Rings” movies, Bug Lab invites guests to experience the immersive world of bugs and their amazing abilities. Larger-than-life bug models are your guides as you journey through hands-on activities and challenges. From swarm intelligence to mind control, you’ll discover bugs hold the key to life-altering secrets. This amazing traveling exhibition buzzes out of here May 5. Don’t miss your opportunity to see the world the bugs built! See link for pricing.

For more information about Arthropod Day, visit www.discoveryplacescience.org.