As a Pennsylvania native, how could you not adore the great outdoors? We have so many miles of wilderness just waiting to be explored. And despite the fact that we have more licensed hunters than any other state in the country, we also love our critters. Yet, despite how much you consider yourself an animal lover, chances are there are still a few species that make you cringe. Here are the top ten creepy species found in Pennsylvania– some are weird looking, others dangerous, and others are just plain bizarre.
I don't think I will ever forget the most terrifying moment of my childhood: I flipped over a large rock in the stream behind my house and found a worm the size of my arm. I immediately ran home as fast as I could. (And never went outside again. What's it like out there these days?)
Most earthworms have the good sense to remain a manageable size, but some grow to epic proportions. Did you know that almost all of the species of earthworms in North America are invasive species?
2. Little Brown Bat
Even when they aren't turning into vampires and chasing down preteen girls named Bella, bats can be creepy. Did you ever have one trapped inside your house? If you have been lucky enough to encounter one in close proximity, you might know that they are just furry sets of sharp, hissing teeth with wings.
3. Turkey Vulture
It's always comforting to see vultures circling overhead, just waiting to descend and sink their beaks into some putrid flesh.
Hellbenders are North America's largest salamander, now in a stream near you! They normally only come out at night... Thank God.
5. Brown Recluse Spider
Unlike the Hellbender, who comes out at night and mostly likes to stay in rivers and lakes, this cute little guy is waiting for you to get home from work. They look totally nondescript, but that's only so that you're less suspicious before they sink their venomous little teeth into your leg...
6. Timber Rattlesnake
There are a few varieties of snake found in Pennsylvania, but timber rattlesnakes are by far the scariest. They enjoy hiding under piles of leaves and are highly venemous. Good luck!
7. House Centipede
House centipedes are hands-down my least favorite animal ever. I'd rather face an army of any of the previously mentioned animals than find just one of these in my shoe. Why do you need that many legs? Just why?
8. Star-Nosed Mole
These guys might be cute, in a weird kind of way. Their weird, flappy noses help them feel their way around underground, and might actually help them sense oncoming earthquakes.
9. Bold Jumping Spider
I'm sorry to tell you this, but this spider's name isn't a cute little misnomer. Nope, they can actually jump 10-12 times their body length. Have fun sleeping tonight.
10. Black Bear
Bears are so cute! They just make me want to run up and cuddle them. In truth, though, they are probably North America's most dangerous land animal. One hit from their massive paws and you're done. Do you want to be that fish? I didn't think so.
Whatever you do, don't let a Bigfoot into your house. They will sweet talk you, maybe even buy you dinner, but then you won't be able to get rid of them for weeks, or even months at a time. They are total moochers and I promise they will clog your shower drain beyond the point of repair.