Whoa: Roly polies aren’t actually insects, and we can’t be the only ones shocked by this news

Either science just played a very mean trick on us or we fell asleep during one too many of those long-winded biology lectures, but what we’re about to tell you may be a bit unsettling: Roly polies aren’t insects. Like, AT ALL. Those cute little cylindrical non-insects we also know as pill bugs aren’t really bugs at all. We’re not sure how we’ve missed this fact about pill bugs, but they’re actually crustaceans, which means they’re actually closer to a lobster or shrimp than they are to your garden-variety insect.

Science geeks will probably nail us for this, but UGH, whyyy are pill bugs referred to as bugs when they’re really not? Yes, this is a question that may anger biologists, but dammit, our confusion demands immediate answers.

via giphy

According to this Deep Look clip, pill bugs came from the ocean billion of years ago and evolved over time because apparently, finding food on land was less competitive than in the water. They even use gills to breathe and taste like shellfish if prepared right.


Honestly, if it wasn’t for the narrator’s optimistic, soothing voice, we might be completely losing it right now. Accepting that what you believed all along is actually one big fat lie is an extremely difficult part of adulting.

We’re going to need a moment to deal with our embarrassment (and yes, trauma) in private, so pardon us while we roll up in a ball and hide away from the world like a pill bug, er, crustacean.