The Dim Effect

In 2006, German entomologist Jochen-P. Saltin discovered a new species of rhinoceros beetle in Peru, which he dubbed Megaceras briansaltini.

Remarkably, the insect’s horn closely resembles that of Dim, the blue rhinoceros beetle in the Disney film A Bug’s Life, which was released eight years earlier.

“I know of no dynastine head horn that has ever had the shape of the one seen in M. briansaltini, and so its resemblance to a movie character seems like a case of nature mimicking art … or what could be referred to as ‘the Dim Effect,'” wrote entomologist Brett C. Ratcliffe.

“There are numerous examples of art mimicking nature (paintings, sculpture, etc.), but that cannot be the case here, because there had never been a known rhinoceros beetle in nature upon which the creators of Dim could have used as a model for the head horn. In my experience, then, Dim was the first ‘rhinoceros beetle’ to display such a horn, and the discovery of M. briansaltini, a real rhinoceros beetle, came later.”

(Brett C. Ratcliffe, “A Remarkable New Species of Megaceras From Peru [Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae: Oryctini]. The ‘Dim Effect’: Nature Mimicking Art,” The Coleopterists Bulletin 61:3 [2007], 463-467.)