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This Moth Might Look Innocent, But It Has A Dark History Of Death And Bad Omens

You probably don’t think of fluffy, harmless moths as being very sinister. For the most part, they’re not. The one exception, though, is the aptly named Death’s-head hawkmoth. Chances are, if you’ve seen Silence of the Lambs, you’re familiar with this moth. It’s on the movie poster.

This moth gets its name from the distinctive skull-like marking on its head.

Because of the skull marking, it’s probably no surprise that people used to consider these moths bad omens.

Entomologist Moses Harris, in 1840, had this to say of the hawkmoth, “It is regarded not as the creation of a benevolent being, but the device of evil spirits…”

Despite their dark past, these moths are completely harmless to humans. They are actually one of the biggest moth species on the planet, and can fly up to 30mph.

They also have an oddly cute squeak when they’re disturbed.

Of course, because of their iconic appearance, they have a habit of showing up in pop culture. Their most memorable cameo might be in Silence of the Lambs.

(via: Mental Floss)

These moths have gotten a bad rap because of their ominous skull marking. (And hey. That’s not fair.) If you watch that squeaking video above, these moths are actually pretty cute.