Saturday, September 1, 2007
Japanese Battle of the Bugs!
Beetle battles are a centuries-old tradition in Japan and other parts of Asia, where rhinoceros beetles are often kept as pets. (Hey, at least you don't have to walk them or clean out their litterboxes!) Every year, the biggest, baddest bugs compete in Insect World Battle Championships which are held in Tokyo.
Kids buy their bugs from specialty pet stores or--believe it or not--bizarre vending machines. (OK, not so bizarre when you consider you can also buy dried squid and underwear from vending machines in Japan.) The largest beetle specimens can cost thousands of dollars. (Probably because of all the betting at the tournaments.)
Don't worry, animal lovers. The bugs don't get hurt. The fighting is just their way of looking good for the ladies.
See the battles in action below.