Scrolling through social media the other day, I noticed a headline that made me go, "Hmm".

The article was about Providence's famous Big Blue Bug not being able to have his iconic flashing red nose for his Rudolph costume this Christmas because he is going to continue wearing his face mask. What confused me, however, was that the article used his real name, "Nibbles Woodaway." Up until last night, I had no idea the bug had a name other than Big Blue Bug. It turns out neither did a lot of people.

Here are other useless-but-fun facts about the Rhode Island landmark that most of us may not know but find oddly fascinating, according to his designated page on the company website,

He is a swarming termite, not a cockroach as many assume, and is allegedly the world's largest artificial bug. He is 9-feet-tall and 58-feet-long. His fiberglass frame weighs 4,000 pounds.

Originally, he was painted purple to reflect the real-life color of a swarming termite, since he was built to be a much, much larger version of that bug. His color faded over time and eventually, he just adopted the blue look rather than go back to purple.

He had no real name and his famous nickname, Big Blue Bug, came from traffic reporter Mike Sheriden. Finally, after 10 years of existence, a radio contest was held to name the bug. The winning submission came from Tiverton resident Geraldine Perry; Nibbles Woodaway is now the Big Blue Bug's official name.

Nibbles will get dressed-up yearly for the 4th of July, Halloween, and Christmas. Occasionally there are times when he'll don other apparel. He once wore a necktie to mark the day in April of 2012 when New England Pest Control officially renamed themselves to "Big Blue Bug Solutions." For most of this year, however, he has been wearing his facemask to promote safety during the pandemic.

And that brings us back full circle on why Nibbles Woodaway is in this news this week. Be like Nibbles the Big Blue Bug; skip the light-up nose, stick to just antlers, and keep wearing your mask.

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