Considered Extinct For 80 Years, This Giant Insect Makes an Unlikely Comeback
When it comes to extinctions, it is as serious an issue as any. The end of a species as a very grave concern. There's talk about the return of the wool mammoth for some time now, but here we will tell you about something else that came out of extinction – the noble tree lobster.
It isn't an actual lobster, you see, so don't expect to see it on the menu at your local lobster place. Also known as the Lord Howe Island stick insect (a mouthful, we know), they were nocturnal stick insects that made excellent fishing bait. They couldn't fly though, as they were the largest insects on the planet, but they could sure run fast!
The noble tree lobster met his demise in 1918, when a supply ship called SS Makambo ran aground off the coast of Lord Howe island. By the time the ship was refloated, the black rats from the ship escaped and populated the island, which caused an ecological disaster. Apparently, the rodents found the stick insects a true delight and munched them into extinction.
By the 1960s, these insects were thought extinct, as not a single individual has been seen since the 1920s. What scientists didn't know is that 20 kilometers off the coast of Lord Howe lies Ball's pyramid, a 1844 feet high and 3600 feet long volcanic stack in the middle of the ocean. In 2001 explorers found feces under a bush – the only one of the rock formation – and went to search for the long lost bug.
Out of the 20-30 individual population that was discovered to the delight of the explorers,two couples were removed for breeding purposes. Today there are hundreds of live adult and thousands of eggs ready to go back home, to Lord Howe Island.