Have you ever seen anything like this before?  I sure as heck know that I haven't, but that only piqued my curiosity even more.

What are these odd-looking things and what's inside ready to come out?  While it looks like some kind of exotic root or street meat from a foreign country, it's actually none of that - thank goodness!

These wild egg cases were found in Upstate NY and if you guessed that it was some sort of cocoon, you'd be close, but not quite. So what are these sacks?

On a Facebook group called "The Hudson Valley in Pictures", one of its members, Carol Mannhaupt posted the image of the egg sacks in a jar, followed by hatching that may not be for the faint of heart so if creepy-crawly isn't your thing, then stay away.

While many people guess that it's a cocoon of some kind, the egg case - called an ootheca - is that of a female wild praying mantis, an insect in the family Manidae.

Mannhaupt, who lives about 90 mins south of Albany in Lake Katrine, NY, says she found them in the wild, but sometimes people can purchase them off the internet.

"Depending on environmental variables and the species, the nymphs may take three to six months to emerge from the ootheca. In spring or early summer, the young praying mantises make their way out of the protective foam case, hungry and ready to hunt other small invertebrates. They immediately begin to disperse in search of food." ThoughtCo.com

Mantises are mostly ambushing predators, and the ones seen in the video are "native" Praying mantises which are typically good for gardens and crops, as opposed to Chinese mantises which are much more invasive, eating small birds, butterflies, and rodents.

Watch as a million wild mantises hatch and immediately disperse for food!



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