A Horrifying Macro Video Captures Praying Mantises Devouring Insects

Stunning cinematography and an edgy soundtrack helped this experimental video take home a Vimeo award.

Prie Dieu, "pray God" and a term for praying mantis in French, captures the sublime freakiness of the predatory insects at an uncomfortably close range. The film, by two Paris-based filmmakers, Achille Coquerel and Thomas Kauffman, aka Cokau, won the experimental video category at the 2012 Vimeo Awards. They insist no insects were hurt in the making of the film, but the cricket-like bug that gets eaten at 1:55 might disagree. The music and sound design are by Amon Tobin.

The directors released a short behind-the-scenes clip that captures some of the hilarity of working with insect talent:

For more work by Cokau, visit http://cokau.com/.

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

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