171-Year-Old Giant Grasshopper Caught by a New Hampshire Man is Incredible
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before:
A grasshopper walks into a bar, and the bartender says, “We have a drink named after you!” And the grasshopper says, “Can you speak up?? I’m 171 years old!!”
…or some variation thereof was how a grasshopper named Mr. Hoppy was introduced to scientists in California. And it turns out that his long, amazing journey began right here in New England.
Evidently, a man named T.A.C. Nichols captured the five-inch (yep, five-inch) grasshopper back in 1852. Nichols was on his way from New Hampshire to California as part of the gold rush.
Relax. While New Hampshire may have Devil Monkeys, you need not fear the giant grasshopper. Nichols found the insect in Panama en route to the Golden State, according to a post from the Center for Sacramento History.
Nichols then put the grasshopper into a jar filled with an “unidentified liquid,” in order to preserve the creature once it had passed on to Grasshopper Heaven, which I assume is just a bunch of lawns.
But the preservation was beginning to fail, after all those decades in a Mason jar. I’d remark that perhaps the jar had been kept on Funk & Wagnall’s porch, but then I would sound 171 years old.
Anyhop, a team at the University of California Davis, selected a new, more befitting container for the giant grasshopper and filled it with a solution made of 70% isopropyl alcohol.
It was eventually identified as Titanacris velasquezii, a grasshopper native to Panama, confirming the legend of its discovery.
And if you noticed the cap to your peanut butter jar went missing…you should probably just let it be.