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Video: World's Largest Bee Rediscovered

By Tim Binnall

An enormous species of bee that was once thought to be extinct has been discovered living alive and well in Indonesia. The monstrous insect was first found in 1858 by renowned naturalist and explorer Alfred Russel Wallace and, as such, was given the informal name 'Wallace's giant bee.' Incredibly, the creature was not again seen by scientists for over a century and was assumed to have died out until an entomologist managed to find a new specimen of the insect in 1981.

Save for one additional sighting by a scientist in 1991, the giant bee remained seemingly impossible to find until a team of researchers on an expedition to Indonesia last month reportedly encountered the insect once again. Fortunately, the group managed to not only capture a specimen of the creature, but also photographed and filmed the living giant bee for the first time ever. As can be seen from the materials collected by the researchers, the insect dwarfs its more well-known counterpart, boasting a body measuring one-and-a-half inches long and a wingspan of 2.5 inches.

According to the scientists who were on site when the rediscovery was made, the event was almost otherworldly. Biologist Eli Wyman marveled to National Geographic that it was "an incredible, tangible experience from an animal that had only lived in my imagination for years." The researchers also noted that the insect's sizeable wings produced a unique humming sound "that you could almost feel as well as hear."

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