If your 2020 wasn’t already going poorly, a group of murder hornets are officially here to make it worse.
On Saturday the New York Times wrote a story about an invasive species that quickly went viral, and for good reason. The subject is the appearance of the asian giant hornet in the United States, a huge predatory insect that can decimate honeybee populations with deadly efficiency. They also look absolutely terrifying to humans because their queens can grow up to two inches long.
Asian giant hornets, nicknamed “murder hornets,” have mandibles shaped like spiked shark fins to decapitate honeybees. Their venom and stingers have been likened to hot metal driving into skin. And now, for the first time, they have arrived in the U.S. https://t.co/q3YWAJ7ql0
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 2, 2020
The article is an urgent case of scientists and beekeepers reacting to an invasive species that can cause real damage to an ecosystem. Basically, that metaphor in Season 1 of Ozark playing out in real time, but with honeybees this time. The details of what the hornets are and the damage the can cause, both to humans and bees alike, was a bit terrifying to say the least.
With queens that can grow to two inches long, Asian giant hornets can use mandibles shaped like spiked shark fins to wipe out a honeybee hive in a matter of hours, decapitating the bees and flying away with the thoraxes to feed their young. For larger targets, the hornet’s potent venom and stinger — long enough to puncture a beekeeping suit — make for an excruciating combination that victims have likened to hot metal driving into their skin.
In Japan, the hornets kill up to 50 people a year. Now, for the first time, they have arrived in the United States.
The whole thing is equal parts fascinating and horrifying, but in the current climate we live where people are trapped inside due to a pandemic, another sign of the endtimes arriving via giant pestilence was just too on the nose. The article drew plenty of reaction on Twitter, where the phrase “murder hornets” quickly started to trend.
Murder hornets. Sure thing, 2020. Give us everything. Hypno-frogs. Fecal blizzards. Toilet tsunamis. A CATS sequel. We can take it. https://t.co/DSDpgKhKzQ
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) May 2, 2020
Everyone: What else could possibly happen in May?
The Murder Hornets: pic.twitter.com/mXsKiX8ixJ
— Stanley, It's Been Ages (@LeahCsMovies) May 2, 2020
"Murder hornets arrived in a America"
— N1v30 (@n1v30) May 2, 2020
Me: 2020 can’t possibly be worst right?
Murder hornets: pic.twitter.com/flT1T7L2jB
— Stay Strong (@ShivRoyRoman) May 2, 2020
Well, 2020 can't get any worse.
May 2020: Release the murder hornets pic.twitter.com/fbA23LE5mF
— ᴿᵉˢᶜᵃ 🐵 (@cultleaderresca) May 2, 2020
Me: I can’t wait for quarantine to be over
*Murder Hornets arrive in America*
— Stephen A. Smith Burner (@SASBurnerAcct) May 2, 2020
well "murder hornets" are trending and I think I'm done here bye
— Sara Bareilles (@SaraBareilles) May 2, 2020
The news made many long for a less chaotic but still terrible time. Like maybe a few years ago.
So we have a plague, locusts and now murder hornets. 2020 is really making me miss the horrible hellscape that was 2016.
— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) May 2, 2020
This may be yet another sign that the end times are near, but there is some hope in pitcher plants, which are really good at trapping these insects and murdering them by drowning them in fluid before they can murder other creatures. In conclusion: nature continues to be terrifying.