You may have recently heard something about “murder hornets”, an invasive species to the United States that has been making headlines this month. The real name for this insect is the “Asian giant hornet” but in typical fashion, it has been given a more threatening name in the headlines to grab everyone’s attention.
To be fair, these Asian giant hornets are no joke and are actually capable of killing a human being, and they are also a major threat to honeybee populations, which are already dangerously low. In fact, this is how the invasive species was first discovered in Washington state.
According to the New York Times, an entire hive of bees was destroyed back in November and the bees were found decapitated. A short time after, two Asian giant hornets were found just a few miles north near Blaine, near the U.S.-Canadian border. After that incident, scientists and residents were on the lookout for the species, and then two were spotted last week in Washington State, sparking panic after the sightings were reported.
So far, these hornets have only been seen in Washington, but people all over the country are concerned. For the very small and specific area in the pacific northwest where these hornets have been seen, experts have advised local residents to set up traps and destroy any nests before they can grow. However, this can be dangerous because there is no way to only target these hornets without also targeting other insects, so the traps that people are setting up could end up accidentally killing other vulnerable insects.
Doug Yanega, senior museum scientist for the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside told the LA Times that these insects aren’t as threatening as they appear to be, and reminded reporters that the “murder hornets” have not created an armageddon in Asia yet, and they have been there hundreds of years, but they do represent a danger to other insects as an invasive species.
The national panic has led to the needless slaughter of native wasps and bees, beneficial insects whose populations are already threatened, said Yanega.
“Millions and millions of innocent native insects are going to die as a result of this.” Yanega said.
Yanega explained that these hornets are a force to be reckoned with, but they should not be a concern for people across the entire country.
“I don’t want to downplay this — they are logistically dangerous insects. But having people in Tennessee worry about this is just ridiculous. The only people who should be bothering experts with concerns about wasp IDs are living in the northwest quadrant of Washington (state). And really, right now, nobody else in the country should even be thinking about this stuff,” he said.
“Folks in China, Korea and Japan have lived side by side with these hornets for hundreds of years, and it has not caused the collapse of human society there. My colleagues in Japan, China and Korea are just rolling their eyes in disbelief at what kind of snowflakes we are.” He added.
Unfortunately, humans have a strange way of making bad situations worse, especially when we try to interfere with nature.
Scientists Catch a Glimpse of a Ultra-Rare Giant Phantom Jelly, With Bizarre Ribbon-Like Arms
Researchers have seen a large deep-sea jellyfish with the assistance of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) named Doc Ricketts off the coast of California, in an extremely rare sighting. The footage revealed the creature’s unique and exquisite features.
The uncommon encounter was documented in November this year, 990 meters (3,200 ft) deep in Monterey Bay, according to a report issued by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).
The enigmatic phantom jellyfish was initially discovered in 1899, but scientists did not recognize it as a distinct species until 1960. Scientists still know very little about this creature.
The specimen of the huge phantom jelly has only been seen 110 times in 110 years across the world. According to the MBARI research, despite thousands of dives, their ROVs have only observed this amazing species nine times.
The huge phantom jellyfish has the following characteristics:
The bell of this deep-sea denizen is more than one meter (3.3 feet) broad, with four ribbon-like oral (or mouth) arms that can grow to be more than 10 meters (33 feet) long, according to an MBARI report.
The species is said to inhabit anywhere between the surface and 21,900 feet in depth. It does, however, remain in the twilight zone, which is just beyond the reach of sunlight.
The organism, formally known as ‘Stygiomedusa gigantea’, is found all across the planet except in the Arctic Ocean, according to the experts.
It’s worth noting that, in the past, scientists depended on trawl-nets to examine deep-sea species; but, the jellies, which transform into a viscous goo in trawl nets, were difficult to research using this outdated method. Fish, crabs, and squids are among the only creatures that can be effectively studied from nets.
Researchers may now examine these creatures in their native habitat with high-definition footage thanks to the robot cams. I, personally, prefer this “no-touch” approach.
Watch the mesmerizing video here:
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
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