Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by annie. annie Wonders, “why are most people scared of bugs” Thanks for WONDERing with us, annie!

You wake up late on a Saturday morning and peek out your window to see what the weather is like. The Sun is shining and there's not a cloud in the sky. You notice that your little brother is already up and relaxing in the hammock with a good book.

A mischievous thought enters your mind. You head downstairs and out into the backyard. You quickly find what you're looking for, and then you slowly sneak up behind your little brother. He's so engrossed in his book that he doesn't hear you approach.

You gently toss the grasshopper you found onto your little brother's arm and wait for his reaction. As the grasshopper takes a small jump onto his hand, your little brother shrieks and throws his book into the air as he desperately tries to rise from the hammock. He vows swift revenge as he turns to see you rolling in the grass with laughter.

If you're one of the many people who gets freaked out by bugs, then you perfectly understand the little brother's reaction. And you're not alone. When it comes to the things that creep, crawl, jump, and fly, many people are scared of bugs.

But why is that? What is it about bugs that bugs people so much? See what we did there? We used the word "bugs" as a verb, which just goes to show you how much fear and annoyance is associated with bugs. We've turned them into a verb that reflects our attitudes towards them!

If you think about it, being scared of a bug is a bit strange. After all, humans are so much bigger than bugs. We can simply squash them. Most bugs aren't likely to do us any harm whatsoever. And yet we remain terrified of spiders, centipedes, grasshoppers, and all sorts of other bugs.

On the other hand, a bear would seem to be a much bigger threat, given that it could tear us limb from limb. Most people don't have a strong fear of bears, though. In fact, we gladly cuddle with toy teddy bears. How many stuffed spiders or grasshoppers do you see on children's beds? Probably not many…

The extreme fear of insects is called entomophobia or acarophobia. While many people don't have a fear of bugs that reaches the level of a phobia, there are plenty of people who dislike bugs and don't want them anywhere near them.

Some researchers believe the fear of bugs is rooted in the fact that, in reality, some of them can be harmful. Some bugs bite or sting. Others can carry diseases. To the extent that a fear of bugs protects us from harm, it's not necessarily a bad thing.

The fear of bugs is different, though, than the fear of other dangerous creatures, such as lions, tigers, and bears. Experts believe our fear of bugs stems in large part from cultural influence. In other words, we learn to find many of them disgusting.

Bugs don't look like us. They have too many legs and too many eyes. They have unnatural pincers and antennae. They creep and crawl and jump in unpredictable ways. Plus, there are often many of them together at once, and they're often in places — like our homes — where we don't want them to be.

Of course, these very characteristics also make bugs extremely interesting to certain people, including young children. Bugs are different and fun to study, especially when you find them in nature!

Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day celebrates a chemistry wiz!