Zombie Caterpillars Are Exploding in England (Seriously)
Yes. You read that right. Zombie caterpillars...are exploding...in England. Isn't this how all those zombie dystopian movies start?
I'm not pulling your leg. There is an actual virus that has infected the oak eggar moth caterpillar in Lancashire, England that essentially turns them into a zombie. Then they die and explode.
Half of me is thinking "ew", but the other half of me is thinking "that is so badass". I mean, these caterpillars are literally going out in a blaze of glory.
Here's what's really happening...
The oak eggar moth has been infected by a virus called the "baculovirus". This virus makes caterpillars want to go towards the light (figuratively and literally). Caterpillars typically stay in deep moss and undergrowth (you know, away from things that want to eat them). But for some reason this virus makes them want to come out of hiding and climb to the tippy top of plants to see the sun.
Once they hangout in the sun for a bit, they die.
And then they explode.
The baculovirus 'explodes' out of the skin of the deceased caterpillar and basically rains disease ridden hell onto the caterpillars below, infecting them.
And the zombie cycle of life continues.
And now I'm back to my original thought of "ew"...
RIP to all the zombie caterpillars of England.
And RIP to society when this virus eventually mutates and infects humans and then we explode and spread the virus. At least, I assume that's what will happen. That's what all those zombie shows and movies have been trying to tell us, right?
(Guys, wait...no...where are you going?? This is a very serious issue! THE CATERPILLARS WILL END US ALL!!)