The Giant Moth

michael59

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Aug 10, 2017
Messages
1,038
Reaction score
2,596
Points
154
(Originally posted in the "What Are You Eating & Drinking?" thread.)

Although I don't drink, I do enjoy a glass of tonic water- been drinking Fever Tree clementine flavoured tonic today, and it's fantastic!

It's not the cheapest, but it's one of those things (like Source shower gel) that is on a special offer about once a month- I'll be stocking up next time it's reduced!
Okay, now you're giving me the chills. Just this morning, I was remembering when I was around 9 or 10 years old. We were living with my Granny. I went across the street to get a soda. Most sodas cost 7 cents a can back then but, cream soda was 10 cents. I don't recall why, it was just one of those things you accept as a kid. It was my last dime and I reached in the cooler and grabbed what I thought was a cream soda and I was really looking forward to it. I opened it right away when I got outside and took a big swig. It was the stuff my mom used to get to make gin & tonic drinks. It was the same color yellow can as cream soda cans. I hated tonic water and I was really disappointed. I just left it on the front step of the store front because he collected bottles and cans for returns. :(

It must have been a weekend, because the street (Dundas street & Jones, in Toronto, Ontario) had hardly any traffic, so I decided to skip the crossing where the traffic lights were and jay walk across. There were two cars, one going past on the opposite side and one turning into the lane I was getting ready to cross. I waited for them both to pass and as I searched both ways for more before crossing, I noticed what looked like a brown paper grocery bag that had been split down the middle, (Remember those? They were quite large and a dark sand color that was what you got before plastic came along.) come tumbling toward me to my left.

There was something not right about it so I kept watching it until it eventually passed me, tumbling the whole way. There was absolutely no wind and yet it kept tumbling. It was not a bag. It was a moth. It's body was maybe a size bigger than a American football and each wing was as large as whatever would be appropriate to carry a body that size. The wings were torn in several places. I think it must have been struck by a car.

I also think this is the first time I ever told anyone, simply because I didn't think anyone would believe me.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

maximus otter

Recovering policeman
Joined
Aug 9, 2001
Messages
7,185
Reaction score
14,446
Points
309
Okay, now you're giving me the chills. Just this morning, I was remembering when I was around 9 or 10 years old. We were living with my Granny. I went across the street to get a soda. Most sodas cost 7 cents a can back then but, cream soda was 10 cents. I don't recall why, it was just one of those things you accept as a kid. It was my last dime and I reached in the cooler and grabbed what I thought was a cream soda and I was really looking forward to it. I opened it right away when I got outside and took a big swig. It was the stuff my mom used to get to make gin & tonic drinks. It was the same color yellow can as cream soda cans. I hated tonic water and I was really disappointed. I just left it on the front step of the store front because he collected bottles and cans for returns. :(

It must have been a weekend, because the street (Dundas street & Jones, in Toronto, Ontario) had hardly any traffic, so I decided to skip the crossing where the traffic lights were and jay walk across. There were two cars, one going past on the opposite side and one turning into the lane I was getting ready to cross. I waited for them both to pass and as I searched both ways for more before crossing, I noticed what looked like a brown paper grocery bag that had been split down the middle, (Remember those? They were quite large and a dark sand color that was what you got before plastic came along.) come tumbling toward me to my left.

There was something not right about it so I kept watching it until it eventually passed me, tumbling the whole way. There was absolutely no wind and yet it kept tumbling. It was not a bag. It was a moth. It's body was maybe a size bigger than a American football and each wing was as large as whatever would be appropriate to carry a body that size. The wings were torn in several places. I think it must have been struck by a car.

I also think this is the first time I ever told anyone, simply because I didn't think anyone would believe me.
This needs to be in the IHTM forum.

maximus otter
 

Kondoru

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
6,799
Reaction score
1,629
Points
234
Are the two events connected?
 

Sgt Girth

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Nov 16, 2019
Messages
140
Reaction score
252
Points
64
From what I can recall, Atlas moths are pretty damned big. I’m not sure where you find them geographically though...even if not native it could have escaped from a private collection...if that is what it was!
 

MercuryCrest

The Severed Head of a Great Old One.
Joined
Mar 24, 2003
Messages
1,440
Reaction score
904
Points
144
Just yesterday I came across the largest moth I've ever seen in Wisconsin. Mind you, in Hawaii, we had moths that were regularly about palm-of-your-hand sized, but I've never ever seen one this big in Wisconsin.

Turns out it was a Polyphemus moth. I took pics, I'll see if I can upload them when I get a chance.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
19,347
Reaction score
26,121
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
michael59:

What time of day (or night) was it when this happened?

Just so we're clear on some details ...

This tumbling occurred on the ground - right? (The moth thing was never airborne ... Or was it?)

Once the moth tumbled past you, you didn't follow it or examine it closely - right?

How close to you did the moth thing ever come?
 

michael59

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Aug 10, 2017
Messages
1,038
Reaction score
2,596
Points
154
From what I can recall, Atlas moths are pretty damned big. I’m not sure where you find them geographically though...even if not native it could have escaped from a private collection...if that is what it was!
Your guess is as good as mine, Sgt. Girth. :)

Besides the fact that it was mutant big and the wings injured, it looked exactly like a regular run of the mill brown moth that we see every warm season here in Canada.

In my years of living in Toronto, I did see some strange stuff, but it all seemed normal to me because as a child, how would I know any different?

One year when I was 14, I was living in a foster home. The bedroom had 2 sets of bunk beds so, there were 4 of us sharing the room. It was summer and so we had a square shaped fan in the open window because it was so hot and humid. I was awakened by my foster sisters screaming. The room, the floor, the beds and us were covered in moths. Toronto had been infested overnight. They were around for quite awhile. The summer before that Toronto had been infested with June bugs. Before that it had been gigantic bull frogs.

The last infestation I witness there before I moved out of province was flying ants.

When I say infestation I mean the streets and ally ways were littered with these things.

Oh, and last but not least, every time Toronto gets a heavy rainfall, the sidewalks and streets along with peoples yards would always be covered with earth worms.


No wonder I have a bug phobia. :willy:
 

michael59

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Aug 10, 2017
Messages
1,038
Reaction score
2,596
Points
154
michael59:

What time of day (or night) was it when this happened?

Just so we're clear on some details ...

This tumbling occurred on the ground - right? (The moth thing was never airborne ... Or was it?)

Once the moth tumbled past you, you didn't follow it or examine it closely - right?

How close to you did the moth thing ever come?
Hi. EnolaGaia

I'd say it was mid-morning so, probably around 10-11am.

No, it was never airborne but I think that's what all the tumbling was about. It was trying to fly away out of the situation. It was most likely in shock.

I was standing on the curb of the sidewalk so, I watched it as it got to me and then passed about 2 feet in front of me. Then it went on down the road, when it got to the lights where I would have normally crossed, I went across the street and into Granny's house. So, I'd say that I watched it travel for 2 city blocks.
 

Trish71

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
129
Reaction score
427
Points
64
Location
Bamfurlong, Wigan
(Originally posted in the "What Are You Eating & Drinking?" thread.)



Okay, now you're giving me the chills. Just this morning, I was remembering when I was around 9 or 10 years old. We were living with my Granny. I went across the street to get a soda. Most sodas cost 7 cents a can back then but, cream soda was 10 cents. I don't recall why, it was just one of those things you accept as a kid. It was my last dime and I reached in the cooler and grabbed what I thought was a cream soda and I was really looking forward to it. I opened it right away when I got outside and took a big swig. It was the stuff my mom used to get to make gin & tonic drinks. It was the same color yellow can as cream soda cans. I hated tonic water and I was really disappointed. I just left it on the front step of the store front because he collected bottles and cans for returns. :(

It must have been a weekend, because the street (Dundas street & Jones, in Toronto, Ontario) had hardly any traffic, so I decided to skip the crossing where the traffic lights were and jay walk across. There were two cars, one going past on the opposite side and one turning into the lane I was getting ready to cross. I waited for them both to pass and as I searched both ways for more before crossing, I noticed what looked like a brown paper grocery bag that had been split down the middle, (Remember those? They were quite large and a dark sand color that was what you got before plastic came along.) come tumbling toward me to my left.

There was something not right about it so I kept watching it until it eventually passed me, tumbling the whole way. There was absolutely no wind and yet it kept tumbling. It was not a bag. It was a moth. It's body was maybe a size bigger than a American football and each wing was as large as whatever would be appropriate to carry a body that size. The wings were torn in several places. I think it must have been struck by a car.

I also think this is the first time I ever told anyone, simply because I didn't think anyone would believe me.
Great post, thanks for sharing it with us and thanks to Maximus Otter for suggesting it should be posted here. I can't imagine seeing a moth of that size, it must have been terrifying. They aren't the best looking of creatures when they're normal size! Did you ever see anything like it again?
 

michael59

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Aug 10, 2017
Messages
1,038
Reaction score
2,596
Points
154
Great post, thanks for sharing it with us and thanks to Maximus Otter for suggesting it should be posted here. I can't imagine seeing a moth of that size, it must have been terrifying. They aren't the best looking of creatures when they're normal size! Did you ever see anything like it again?
Thanks, Trish71. I don't recall being frightened. More like, *Okay, that just happened.*

I really didn't think much about it after that. I do remember going to the NWT when I was 10 with my mom and siblings to live with my dad. It was a little town called Pine Point. Population, 500.

I remember my mom was going to put my little sister outside in her pram to get some fresh air. My dad told her not to because the lady down the street had done so previously and the baby had been attacked by horse flies. He said they were so big here that 3 of them could pick her up and carry her away. My mom laughed. I didn't even know what a horse fly was. He said the insects were really big there. He said, "The bumble bees are this big." and he picked up a tablespoon. I don't recall ever seeing one.

I do recall being out in the treeline with a bunch of kids playing around when this big insect came flying at me so, I ducked down to let it pass. A girl looked at me funny, and said, "Haven't you ever seen a mosquito before?" I had seen lots of mosquito's in my day but never ones that big.
 

rpkemp

Junior Acolyte
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
41
Reaction score
99
Points
24
Thanks, Trish71. I don't recall being frightened. More like, *Okay, that just happened.*

I really didn't think much about it after that. I do remember going to the NWT when I was 10 with my mom and siblings to live with my dad. It was a little town called Pine Point. Population, 500.

I remember my mom was going to put my little sister outside in her pram to get some fresh air. My dad told her not to because the lady down the street had done so previously and the baby had been attacked by horse flies. He said they were so big here that 3 of them could pick her up and carry her away. My mom laughed. I didn't even know what a horse fly was. He said the insects were really big there. He said, "The bumble bees are this big." and he picked up a tablespoon. I don't recall ever seeing one.

I do recall being out in the treeline with a bunch of kids playing around when this big insect came flying at me so, I ducked down to let it pass. A girl looked at me funny, and said, "Haven't you ever seen a mosquito before?" I had seen lots of mosquito's in my day but never ones that big.
Possibly scary mosquitoes are why Pine Point no longer exists, except as a road layout, all the buildings having been demolished in the 1980s.

https://www.smartcitiesdive.com/ex/...ting-disappearance-pine-point-pop-1200/30967/
 

michael59

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Aug 10, 2017
Messages
1,038
Reaction score
2,596
Points
154
Possibly scary mosquitoes are why Pine Point no longer exists, except as a road layout, all the buildings having been demolished in the 1980s.

https://www.smartcitiesdive.com/ex/...ting-disappearance-pine-point-pop-1200/30967/
Thank you for the link!

When I lived there the population was 500, it was in 1969. We didn't stay long and then went back again in 2 years later. Again, didn't stay long.

Believe it or not, in 1971 there was an "old town" Pine Point. Everything was still there except the people. There was one man assigned to caretake the old town.
 

michael59

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Aug 10, 2017
Messages
1,038
Reaction score
2,596
Points
154
One year when I was 14, I was living in a foster home. The bedroom had 2 sets of bunk beds so, there were 4 of us sharing the room. It was summer and so we had a square shaped fan in the open window because it was so hot and humid. I was awakened by my foster sisters screaming. The room, the floor, the beds and us were covered in moths. Toronto had been infested overnight.
Quebec got attacked by millions of moths about 5 days ago.

4443762913c910f4b467297a9693371f.jpg_1200x630.jpg


https://www.mtlblog.com/news/canada...a-car-dealership-in-lac-saint-jean-goes-viral

Yeesh, it makes my skin crawl. Does this happen in the UK?
 

michael59

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Aug 10, 2017
Messages
1,038
Reaction score
2,596
Points
154
The first time I saw what I now believe was a Luna moth flying in a Tokyo suburb I thought I was seeing a genuine unexplainable phenomena
It is quite large. I have never seen one and I have lived here (Canada) all my life. They must be collectable or something because I have seen all kinds of unbelievable things here in my lifetime.

How long ago did you see the one in Tokyo?
 

Sid

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
470
Reaction score
605
Points
94
Biggest Moth I've ever seen was when I was working in a local factory. Came outside on a really hot afternoon chatting to one of the owners, when I spotted this Moth clinging to the wall - turns out it was a pretty unusual (rare) visitor to Southern England, it was (I.D. later) as an Oak Moth.
As big as the owners hand it was sitting in his palm in the sunshine for a while, then it started to vibrate it's wings (warming itself up), then just like a jumbo jet took off vertically then flew alongside the nearby canal path. That moth seemed such a dull specimen, but when it opened up it's wings to warm itself - you were treated to a wonderful shimmer of all the colours in the viewable spectrum... simply stunning sighting.
 

bugmum

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
409
Reaction score
1,063
Points
164
Son No 2 would have you believe that he was attacked by a monster moth in the kitchen just before he went to bed the other night. I actually rescued him from said moth, and it wasn't THAT big. At which point, the in-house Medic said that the biggest UK moths he'd ever encountered all congregated around Modbury, in the South Hams. No idea what kind they are...
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
19,347
Reaction score
26,121
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds

michael59

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Aug 10, 2017
Messages
1,038
Reaction score
2,596
Points
154
The only thing odd about the one I saw 50 plus years ago was it's size.

It just looked like this but... broken:

images.jpeg


Maybe a little darker brown because I honestly thought it was a torn open brown paper grocery bag.

Edited to add: I think the reason it has stayed with me all these years is the guilt. The guilt that I didn't do anything. I remember it looked right into my eyes as it tumbled by and I could see that it was in trouble but I honestly had no idea what to do about it. I had a couple of brother who would have done unspeakable things to it all in the name of fun. I know it was best that I kept it to myself.

I remember when bullfrogs invaded Toronto. The boys, not just my brothers, did some really terrible things to them. :(
 
Last edited:

pandacracker

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Jan 16, 2004
Messages
948
Reaction score
2,145
Points
164
I can almost picture you standing there starring at it with your mouth open and your eyes wide and twinkling.
You're right about the wide mouth but I wouldn't say my eyes were twinkling. I had that fear/fascination response, to know what it was I had to get nearer but it was big and flappy and I also wanted to keep away. It was your description of the your moth's movement that reminded me of my experience.

I like Lepidoptera, especially moths, and believe them to be my spirit animal.
 
Top