You can love a beverage, but you shouldn’t make love to it.
No we’re not talking about that girl at your high school who masturbated with a Coke bottle and went to the hospital. That’s an urban legend. Recently, a Honduras man had his penis amputated for getting it stuck in a bottle, but this is a story about sexually frustrated beetles.
Jewel beetles in Australia were so hot for discarded beer bottles that they would fuck them until they died. Now I Know reports that the beetles, like Sir-Mix-A-Lot, got a thing for back. Specifically, the bottoms of Emu beer bottles. They weren’t getting drunk and making poor decision as we humans are want to do. No, the jewel beetles were attracted to the color and the reflections from those grippy dimples on the bottom edge of the Emu bottles. According to entomologists, the reflections are similar to those that female jewel beetle wings produce.
In 1981, entomologists Darryl Gwynne and David Rentz observed this strange behavior in Western Australia, studied it and discovered the mistaken attraction. Since the male beetles could not distinguish the difference between the Emu bottles and their intended female mates, the boys would simply keep trying. The male beetles would grind against the bottom of the bottle until they succumbed to the heat of the desert or attacking ants. Obviously mistaking your mate for a bottle is not only going to create relationship problems, but also population issues. There’s a short BBC video on the subject below.
Gwynne and Rentz received a Ig Nobel prize for their work on this in 2011. Meanwhile, when Emu learned of the issue, they changed their bottles by removing the dimples that made them so irresistible to the jewel beetles. If you want to learn more about bug sexual predators in Australia, have a look at this article over at Australian National Geographic. It would seem that sex isn’t just confusing for us. Spiders, wasps, bees and ants all get their signals crossed.