Fact Check

Is This a Giant Insect Called a 'Georgian Speekle'?

An image of a giant isopod is frequently shared along with the claim that it shows an insect first discovered in a garage in Georgia.

Published March 9, 2017

An image shows a "Georgian Speekle," one of the world's scariest insects.
What's True

The photograph features a real creature.

What's False

There is no such thing as a "Georgia Speekle."

A photograph purportedly showing something called a "Georgia Speekle" is frequently included in articles about the biggest or most frightening bugs in the world, such as "Scariest Insects Ever" or "Giant Monster Insects":

This photograph is often included along with the claim that this "cylinder-shaped monster" was found in a garage in the U.S. state of Georgia:

Last year in Georgia, a homeowner got the fright of their life when they found this spiky, cylinder-shaped monster skulking in their garage. It was about two-feet-long, with sharp spikes around its edges, but no eyes were visible. It later appeared in more Georgian homes, causing a lot of fear. Experts were called, who said it wasn’t poisonous, but they couldn’t give much more information as they’d never seen the breed before. They named it the ‘Georgian Speekle’.

This photograph is real and shows a real animal. However, it does not show something called a "Georgia Speekle" (which does not exist), nor was it found in someone's garage in Georgia, either the country or the state.  The image is actually taken from a 2014 video, in which a biologist was shown preparing a display specimen of a giant isopod (Bathynomus giganteus) that was found at a depth of 3,000 feet in the Gulf of Mexico:

Although an isopod may resemble an insect, it is actually a crustacean that is more closely related to shrimps and crabs than to your garden-variety bugs:

Isopods are not insects but crustaceans. They are relatives of insects however, with their jointed legs and exoskeleton. Actually they are more closely related to shrimp, crayfish and crabs. They are probably native of Europe and were introduced into North America several centuries ago. Numerous species are common throughout the U. S.

We searched the web sites of the Amateur Entomologists' Society, the Bug Guide, and the Department of Entomology at Penn State University, and, sadly, found no record of any insect named the "Georgia Speekle."


Aquarium of the Pacific.   "Giant Isopod."     Retrieved 9 March 2017.

DailyBananas.com.   "The Scariest Insects Ever."     Retrieved 9 March 2017.

AnimalMozo.   "31 Insects So Scary You’ll Never Go Outside Again."     Retrieved 9 March 2017.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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