Insect Strength Compared To Size
The rhinoceros beetle is a colossus in insect conditions and is rated among the mightiest animals in the world compared to its body weight. You’ve probably heard that the rhino beetle can carry up to 850 times its own weight before buckling at the knee sections, incredible (more tips here)!
Indeed, it’s proportionally more powerful than an elephant which is the strongest land animal concerning brute force.
Having said this, it is worth mentioning that if an elephant had been shrunk to the size of a bug its potency in relation to its mass would increase x-fold.
All this is down to a phenomenon known as the scaling law formally recognized by Galileo in 1638.
The Scaling Law Preventing Insects From Becoming Giant Monsters
This signifies that components of a body aren’t scaled up or down by exactly the same amount.
In plain terms, if a bug grew to the size of an elephant without altering the original shape of its body, it would be so heavy in proportion to its legs it wouldn’t have the ability to move its own carcass, let alone take eight hundred and fifty times its own weight.
It would need to radically modify its proportions beginning with its legs. This can be illustrated from the development proportions of a human being.
In the human, the head becomes proportionally smaller and the legs larger and stronger as the person grows to adult size. If the legs remained proportionally the same from infancy to adulthood they wouldn’t have the strength to hold the body.
Increased Need For Oxygen And Food
There are other anatomical constraints such as the insect respiratory system, which would become insufficient with the greater volume in contrast to the insect’s surface area. It would require lungs instead of simply absorbing atmosphere through its spiracles to be able to meet its increased need for oxygen.
Furthermore, unless it was born in a enormous dung heap the size of a hillock, it would not have the ability to supply itself with the tremendous amounts of food it would require to keep going.
So rest reassured, even if someone invented a magical hormone drug to grow, say, cockroaches to the size of a human, the consequent monsters would be about as nimble as a wheel dozer with flat tires.