Climate change regained its title as the Hottest Media Buzzword earlier this month when U.S. senators pulled an all-nighter to talk about it and American citizens responded by enthusiastically not giving a shit.
But if we may presume to offer you a bit of advice, random senator who's currently reading Cracked instead of, you know, making laws and junk: If you want Americans to pay attention to climate change, you've got to go full-on horror movie. Give them a swift kick straight in the poopyourpants gland by telling them how ...
#4. It's Thawing Out Mummified Corpses from Past Wars
When you think about ice melting in relation to climate change, it probably brings to mind worries about rising ocean levels and transient polar bears. But it turns out you should maybe be just as concerned about what's lurking in the center of that slowly melting ice, like the horrifically chewy center of a Cenobite's Tootsie Pop.
As the Presena glacier north of the Italian Alps has gradually thawed over the past couple decades, it's puked out some unexpected items: diaries, letters, antique rifles. More recently, it's become terrifyingly apparent who owned said items -- because they're trapped in the ice, too.
Museo della Grande Guerra, Peio
Well, they were.
The glacier serves as an icy tomb for the freeze-mummified soldiers of the White War, a mostly forgotten World War I battle in which the Italians took on the Austrian Kaiserschutzen like some anachronistic recreation of the Battle of Hoth. It was quite possibly the only battle in history where the fear of bullets whizzing past your skull was dwarfed by that of being buried alive by an avalanche.
But at least the dead soldiers haven't pulled a Game of Thrones and started murdering people (yet), unlike ...
#3. It's Bringing Killer Viruses Back to Life
When scientists recently chipped into a 30,000-year-old chunk of the Siberian permafrost, they found something fascinating. Or maybe not, if you find the concept of a zombie dino-virus mundane.
Dubbed Pithovirus, because apparently the scientist who discovered it wet himself and also spoke with a lisp, it was the largest virus ever discovered. And no sooner had scientists given it a snappy name than it woke up and started hate-fucking some amoebas to death. Let's put that another way just to make sure it sinks in: This virus, which had been frozen solid since Neanderthals were loping around clubbing wooly mammoths, immediately woke up and started murdering stuff.
Luckily, this particular germ only has an appetite for amoebas, but the researchers who discovered it raised concerns that the melting permafrost could revive a virus such as smallpox (or alien viruses with a bone to pick with Kurt Russell).
And speaking of disgusting single-cell organisms ...
#2. It's Allowing "Rock Snot" to Infiltrate Our Waterways
You know how sometimes horror movies use lighting (or lack thereof), pacing, and music to build a mounting sense of dread, while other times they jump straight to the gross-out? Well, that second technique must've been what climate change had in mind when it egged on the proliferation of "rock snot."
Seriously, bare-handed and shorts is how you're tackling this?
A new study suggests that this supremely mucky species of algae, technically named didymo (although we have no idea why anyone would use that term after hearing "rock snot"), has enjoyed unprecedented expansion throughout the U.S., New Zealand, Europe, and Canada over the past couple decades thanks to climate change. Rock snot prefers to clog up rocky, fast-flowing waterways.
But not too fast, meaning that, since the warming climate results in less severe ice melts, it's becoming ever easier for this real-life Blob to plop itself right at home in your favorite fishing hole or hiking spot. On the plus side, you'll be able to slime yourself up a truly kickass Swamp Thing costume next Halloween.
#1. It's Creating Massive Swarms of Bloodsucking Insects
Back when people still said "global warming," Dr. Alison Blackwell, Scotland's foremost authority on midges, made a prediction: The warmer, wetter winters would bring about an explosion in the midge population. What the hell is a midge, you ask? Well, it's a tiny flying insect that "tear[s] the flesh with a set of mouthparts acting like shearing scissors, sucking blood from the skin and leaving a nasty, irritable red mark." Also, this is what a swarm of them looks like:
"Why are you kneeling?"
"I'm praying for a great white to eat me first."
This year, the good doctor's prognosis has come to full fruition: The extraordinarily wet winter in the U.K. means that conditions are perfect for a skin-crawlingly immense crop of midges. Currently the bitsy bastards are content with chowing down on Scottish folk and gnawing a ragged hole through their tourism industry for dessert, but you just know it's only a matter of time before they put their miniscule heads together to form a buzzing, bloodsucking hive mind bent on devouring the world.
Our advice? If you see a gigantic, roiling black cloud headed our way from across the pond, drop the bug spray and run. For Christ's sake, run.
Jason is a freelance editor for this fine website, Cracked.com. Does his Facebook page feel a bit warmer to you?