These Sturdy Pests Were No Match for a Montana Blizzard

As a young man growing up in Montana, I was fortunate enough to have someone load me into a car and drag me across the state to learn more about it.  Now, I am far from an expert on our state.  The major attractions I have down, but there is always one that pops up and surprises me that is under the Big Sky.

Finding this gem involved a rabbit hole of the internet and bugs.  Do you know how one of the glaciers in Montana came by its name?  The uniqueness of this harkens thoughts of a Jurassic Park happening right here in our state.

Making Your Way to the Absaroka/Beartooth Wilderness in Montana

Nestled in southern Montana, this mountain range features a glacier with a sort of common name.  Grasshopper Glacier originally was over 5 miles long but has shrunk to .20 miles in its current state.  The glacier is also a quarter of a mile wide and situated in the Custer National Forest.

Viewing this glacier and the four separate pieces that make it up can be somewhat difficult.  Off-road vehicles are required for part of the excursion, while a several mile hike will eventually lead you to a viewable area at the base of the glacier.  The road can be inaccessible for up to 10 months of the year.

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Just How Did Grasshopper Glacier in Montana Get Its Name?

The interesting way this glacier was named is already in the title.  Grasshoppers.  And lots of them.  It is thought that there are tens of millions of the locusts entombed within the glacier and have been for thousands of years.  Many of the specimens are now extinct but were preserved so well they were able to be studied by entomologists for identification.

According to Wikipedia, scientists believe that the hoppers became entombed over a course of years.  As locusts are known to travel in groups of millions, it is thought that as they travelled through the area, severe blizzards and storms caused the bugs to die and become preserved.

Finding those insects embedded is becoming tougher in recent years:

Until the late 20th century, the grasshopper remains were quite common; however, lower snowfall rates since the late 1980s and higher temperatures have contributed to a higher melting rate of the glacier and many specimens decompose before they can be retrieved.

50 Breathtaking Photos of Glacier National Park

Check out 50 beautiful photos of Montana's Glacier National Park!

Gallery Credit: Jesse James

LOOK INSIDE: Glacier Bear Retreat, the Only Private Home in Glacier Park That Is For Sale

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live inside Glacier National Park? Take a look at the Glacier Bear Retreat, from Glacier Sotheby's International Realty.

Gallery Credit: KC

These 50 US Cities are Crawling with Bed Bugs

Every year the pest control gurus at Orkin put together a list of the Top 50 Bed Bug Destinations in the United States. Which areas do you travel to that you should take extra care to watch out for these blood-sucking insects? Let's countdown to the most bed-bug-riddled city in the United States.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow