Scientists have identified the insect dubbed "the creature from Hell" after terrifying footage spread over TikTok like wildfire, even causing brave Australians to feel unnerved.
The video, uploaded to TikTok by the account Mesc27 and allegedly filmed in Laverton, Western Australia, shows the insect sitting in the dirt with its wings spread, while its tail menacingly strikes the air. Some have compared its appearance to a mix between a stick and a scorpion.
The enigmatic creature instilled fear and confusion among viewers, quickly going viral and amassing 11 million views.
What is Australia's "creature from Hell" that went viral on TikTok?
A stunned Australian who lived in the area for 51 years said that they had never seen such a terrifying creature and that it may be time to leave before they do.
Some commenters likened the creature to iconic movie monsters, including the frightening xenomorph from Alien and the insects from Starship Troopers.
An insect expert refuted the creature's terrifying appearance, claiming it to be entirely harmless. Australian entomologist Nikolai Tatarnic, speaking to News.com.au, explained that it is a non-venomous herbivorous Phasmids. He said that its "stick" isn't actually dangerous and is used to repel potential predators.