Everyone knows nature is a symposium of terrifying freaks. Mostly we just take it in stride, because most of the really horrifying ones are rare and usually in Australia.
Sometimes, however, nature gets its shit organized, and what was once a comfortingly rare freakshow then becomes an army at your doorstep. Here are but a few of the natural forces waging war on humanity en masse.
Having just a layman's knowledge of ants, what would you guess is the biggest ant colony in the world? Maybe there's some mega-colony somewhere that's, say, as big as a football field, right? Or a city block?
How about an ant colony that spans four fucking continents? Well say hello to Argentina's biggest export.
It's just a regular-sized ant; it does ant things. It carries bundles to and fro, it frantically scrambles across logs and it colonizes the pants of liars. It doesn't spit acid, it doesn't fly and it doesn't eat people. But by God it has a colony that experts say spans across the Americas, Europe, Australia and Asia (what, do they get back and forth by boat?).
Scientists have dubbed this group a "global mega-colony," and estimate it's comprised of over 22 million anthills, each teeming with upwards of 10,000 members. That's more than 200 billion ants, by the way. Their mega-colony outnumbers humans 35 to one.
It's like a mind-bogglingly huge ant-party! And if you like living on those continents, then you're invited! Whether you fucking like it or not!
This revelation came as quite a surprise to entomology experts, seeing as how ants from different colonies or geographic locations will typically fight for territory if brought together. But grab a couple of these guys from the coast of Japan, and a couple more from the coast of California, and it's nothing but good times. They're all on the same team. For a sober and rational perspective on all of this, please consider this quote from the BBC:
"The colony may be the largest of its type ever known for any insect species, and could rival humans in the scale of its world domination."
That emphasis wasn't even ours; it bolded itself
Hey, did we mention that ants are one of the only other species known to capture and use slaves? Now who's crazy for building an anti-ant-overlord bunker behind the Stop 'N Save, County Sherriff's Office?!
This is going to happen.
You know what's worse than a jellyfish? A gigantic jellyfish.
You know what's worse than a gigantic jellyfish? Huge swarms of gigantic jellyfish attacking people off the coast of Japan. There are thousands of these things floating together, weighing up to 440-pounds each. That's when it becomes less of a "bad day at the beach" situation and more of a "first sign of the coming of the Old Ones" kind of deal.
The good news is that, although they will sting anything that gets near them, the jellyfish aren't always aggressive toward humans; it's just a case of the wrong place at the wrong time. The bad news is that they are devouring all of the fish supplies, and clogging up the fisherman's nets so badly that they've resorted to trying to sell them as food in an effort to recoup their losses. So if your Fillet O' Fish tastes a little more slippery and poisonous than usual, thank Japan.
Scientists don't actually know very much about these monsters yet, like why there are suddenly a thousand times more of them than ever before, how to stop them or pretty much anything else useful; but then again, it must take a special kind of scientist to want to get up close and personal with the world's densest population of gargantuan venomous shredded eyeballs.
According to a leading nomura expert, Shiniche Uye, they are "like typhoons - they can't be controlled, but they can be predicted." You read that right: the world's leading nomura scientist just said that they cannot be stopped. But more surreal and terrifying is the reason why: when you try to kill one, it literally gives birth to millions of offspring first. There's no word on whether or not they all hunger for vengeance toward the man who killed their parents, so we're forced to assume that they do.
The mountain pine beetle has been native to North America for as long as there's been a North America, but we never really had cause to notice them until they started pulling some Captain Planet villain shit and turned all of this:
They've swept across parts of Canada, killing half of the lodge pole pine trees, and are marching toward the U.S. as we speak. Various attempts to stop or even slow the scourge were basically met with a hearty "fuck you" by the swarm, who continue to devour forests while laughing maniacally and proclaiming all that stand against them to be "fools!"
Hey are pine trees supposed to be orange?
Their biggest natural enemy is the cold, but thanks to global climate change, warmer winters means they can now survive year-round; exponentially increasing their food intake. Farmers in Alberta report what they call "beetle rain," where they hear what sounds like a heavy storm spattering off their rooftops, only to go outside and see millions upon millions of beetles landing in an apocalyptic swarm.
So... can we just poison all of the trees up there? Or do we have to nuke Canada?