Wednesday Why-I-Love-The-Weekly-World-News Blogging

June 25th, 2008at 06:49pm Posted by Eli

For those of you who think farming is all fun and games:

(By Steve Dunlop)

A 48-inch grasshopper chewed its way through an acre of corn before farmer Barry Gissler drew a bead on the creature with his 30-30 rifle – and shot it dead!

Now university experts are studying the 23-pound insect’s carcass in hopes of finding out where it came from and why it grew so big.


Gissler shot the gigantic grasshopper on March 15.  Oddly enough, he had seen the insect perched on the seat of his tractor three days earlier but was tired after working his fields and thought his mind was playing tricks.

“The next afternoon I noticed something had been eating my corn plants and set out to find it,” said Gissler, who lives 15 miles south of Reefton, New Zealand.

“A few minutes later I saw the hopper clinging to a stalk and I don’t mind telling you that I just about jumped out of my pants.

“But this time I knew my mind wasn’t playing tricks.  The damn thing spit a full quart of ‘tobacco’ juice and hit me square in the face.”


The next morning he resumed the hunt and found the creature polishing off a cornstalk on the west end of his field.

“My mongrel dog took off after him but the hopper knocked him flat on his butt with another salvo of juice,” said Gissler.

“For the split second he was distracted I aimed and shot.  He never knew what hit him.”

The farmer took the insect to the local agriculture office where agents referred him to [insect specialist Robert] Scholl.

The bug expert is already conducting tests on the carcass but says it will be weeks or possibly even months before results are in.

“It’s imperative that we find out what made the grasshopper grow so big and if there are others like him,” said Scholl.

“It’s all we can do to keep regular insects from eating all our crops right now.

“A breed like this could turn the tide in their favor once and for all.”

We’re all doomed.  Doomed!

Entry Filed under: Weekly World News

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