This is how awful B-movie sci-fi plots become reality, people. A study at Arizona State University is trying to determine why some insects have gotten larger and smaller over time, and they've already manage to create larger dragonflies.
Right now, John VandenBrooks and his team at ASU are looking at how oxygen plays a role in insect sizes. It's thought that way back when (like, y'know, prehistoric times and all that), some insects were as large as today's animals. Dragonflies, for instance, could have had wingspans over two feet long (which, I won't lie, is making me cringe as I type this).
"Our main interest is in how paleo-oxygen levels would have influenced the evolution of insects," VandenBrooks said, conducting a study on twelve different kind of insects including dragonflies and cockroaches. Ten out of twelve of those — excluding the cockroaches — were found to increase in size in oxygen-rich environments.
Cockroaches, it's worth mentioning, are believed to be bigger than ever. A fossil found a few years ago pegged the largest ancient cockroach to be around 3.5 inches long, which is approaching the sizes some of the buggers top out at in tropical climates. Keep 'em small, I say! What good is a giant bug?