6 Mind-Blowing Animal Infestations Straight Out of the Bible
There are a handful of animals that constantly break their social contract with humanity. Rats, termites, ants and cockroaches are unlike all other species in that they have no respect for personal space. They will invade your home, eat through your walls and generally ignore your deed or renter's agreement no matter how many times you show it to them.
But every once in a while, a completely innocuous animal will look at our quaint neighborhoods and civilized lives and say, "Oh, that's way better. Let's go live there." So any day now, your town could be infested by ...
The Groot Constantia suburb of Cape Town, South Africa, is just silly with monkeys. Baboons have overrun the community, stealing food and even stripping the thatched roofs off of houses. They are particularly notorious for breaking into tourists' cars, which is dangerous, because these monkeys are in no condition to be driving. See, Groot Constantia is famous for its vineyards, and the baboons stick around because they love getting shitfaced on the fermented grapes.
"Clean your windscreen for a quarter. A dime, then. I will pee on it for a penny, please."
In the baboons' defense, it was humans who invaded their home first. The baboons only started getting drunk and surly when tourism boomed and construction encroached on their habitat. But rather than hitting the road on whatever the animal equivalent of the Trail of Tears might be, the baboons have stubbornly insisted on staying put and having a goddamn drink.
"Dammit, Frank, everyone else went above $5 and you bring a shitty Chardonnay. I can't even look at you."
Residents have no idea what to do about them, either. The baboons break into houses, kill pets and do an unreasonable amount of streaking through the streets. A group of them cornered a 12-year-old kid in his own house, and as he cried they threw fruit at him until they got bored. Living in Groot Constantia is essentially like sharing a community with the worst fraternity you can imagine.
"All Kappa Delta Ook tributes to the vines. Booze run, booze run!"
Incidentally, the authorities are dealing with the problem like a college would: They've implemented a three-strike policy, except instead of being expelled, the baboons are euthanized. The hope is that by weeding out some of the most brazen B&E artists, baboons and humans can, at the very least, peacefully coexist. But it seems crazy to expect that monkeys will like us more after we kill a few of their best friends. If anything, the three-strike policy will only give them more incentive to poop in our cars. Incidentally, here is a video of baboons doing just that.
Blackbirds That Blot Out the Sky
Generally speaking, when clouds turn into pitch-black, seething masses that rain toxic feces on the world, that's an indication of the end of times. But for the folks in La Grange, Kentucky, that's how they know there's still six more weeks of winter.
In recent years, tens of thousands of migrating black birds have descended on the town of La Grange in a literal shitstorm. Each morning and night throughout the winter, they fly over the community and produce so much poop that people have to walk around with umbrellas.
And while migrating birds showering a town in feces is objectively hilarious, the real-life consequences of all that shit is a little less funny. It's destroying cars and making people sick. Some people suffer from respiratory issues, and a huge chunk of the population gets pinkeye all at the same time each year (we only said the consequences would be a little less funny).
And a lot more Independence Day.
In a desperate bid to get rid of the birds, the Department of Agriculture has MacGyvered up some noise cannons -- actual weapons made of noise that they fire blindly into the woods each night to scare off the birds.
If firing blindly into the air has failed us, what tool does mankind have left?
Unfortunately, the cannons have proven pretty ineffectual. To us, it seems only logical that if they really wanted to solve the problem, they'd stop loading those cannons with noise and start loading them with human feces. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.
Huge Asian Carp That Fling Themselves at You
In the long list of animals that could amass into a horrifying and deadly mob, carp are somewhere near the bottom. In terms of threat level, they sit squarely between teacup pigs and coral. The only way that a carp infestation could be anything other than benign is if they somehow grew to be monstrous in size and started throwing themselves at humans. Which, as you can see from the above photo, is exactly what has happened with the Asian carp in rivers and lakes around the U.S.
"Wow! Dinner and a serious concussion, all in one package!"
Originally introduced to eat pond scum, the carp have thrived in American streams and have started devouring everything they encounter. They can weigh up to 100 pounds, they can eat 40 percent of their own body weight and no one has any idea how to stop their populations from surging. The Asian carp are destroying entire habitats and killing off species in lakes and rivers. But that's only what makes them horrifying to tadpoles and conservationists (two groups we all know are easily spooked). To earn our respect and terror, they've started leaving the water.
They can leap up to 10 feet out of the water, and at an average of 50 or 60 pounds apiece, it's like getting hit with a flopping cinder block. What's worse, they only do it in the presence of a boat. Experts suspect that it's the motor that startles them into launching themselves into the air, conveniently ignoring the more plausible reason: These fish genuinely hate us.
Carp used splash. It's super effective!
In an effort to keep the fish from getting into the Great Lakes and causing an environmental meltdown, officials dumped more than 20,000 gallons of poison into the water. If that sounds extreme, the first plan of action was calling in the U.S. Army to build an underwater electric fence, and the carp still got around it.
Because fucking flying.
In case you missed that last point, not even the United States Army could stop these goddamn fish. The poison is a last-ditch attempt to control the problem, but we privately suspect that the carp will turn our own weapon against us; we've essentially added poison to the arsenal of flying fish, turning them all into 60-pound biological weapons.
Angry Wild Turkeys
As children, our parents warned us of the dangers of abandoning our pets when we are sick of them. For some reason the story always focused on alligators flushed down the toilet and thriving in the sewers. That lesson was flawed, because the only thing we learned from the story was that people are allowed to own alligators, which are way cooler than whatever shitty pet we were trying to get rid of. If parents really wanted to get the lesson to sink in, they would have told us about an ugly, mundane pet being abandoned and then quickly overpopulating entire towns; they should have told us about the wild turkeys of Staten Island, New York.
It's like a gang of ugly monks.
Over a decade ago, some miserable person decided on turkeys as pets, and then naturally realized that was a terrible idea and set them all free. While she likely assumed that the nine turkeys she released would all die, they started multiplying instead, and now the town of Ocean Breeze is overrun by the only bird with a testicle sack for a neck.
More troubling, the turkeys are getting smarter and more aggressive. They attack cars and children, and they know which houses to go to for the best chance of food.
"Don't worry, dude, I totally saw the nut roast leftovers. We got ourselves some wusses."
The problem has gotten so out of control that residents are now afraid to leave their houses. And since turkey hunting is against the law in Staten Island, people aren't really sure what to do, especially considering that the turkeys are basically daring people to kill them.
The Department of Environmental Conservation has left it to the city to decide how to deal with the birds, but in the meantime, the only weapons residents have at their disposal are hoses and their ability to shoo really loudly. Still, people are constantly attacked in Ocean Breeze, and running away from birds that naturally look like they have some sort of face disease is a special kind of humiliation.
"Yeah? Drive off, asshole. You got nothin'."
An Emergency-Scale Caterpillar Explosion
Caterpillars, like zombies, are slow-moving hunks of flesh with a single-minded goal of consuming. Alone they are harmless, but when they number in the millions, they are terrifying and inescapable. The difference, however, is that zombies are fictional, while caterpillars are real enough to cause a national emergency for an entire country.
The African armyworm has devastated crops, poisoned water supplies and presumably forced survivors onto the roofs of malls with only one gun. Already considered one of the most destructive pests on Earth, now that their numbers are swelling at such an astronomical rate, it's caused Liberia to issue a state of emergency.
It's not like they have other, more pressing things to attend to.
The biggest problem is that the adult moths can lay around 1,000 eggs in one lifetime, and they can migrate hundreds of miles, essentially making the outbreak an airborne crisis. They are also good at avoiding pesticides by burrowing into the ground before pupating. As a result, there are tens of millions of them ravaging entire fields of crops, all moving together in unison to new food sources ... kind of like an army.
These are just the ground troops.
The infestation has spread to over a hundred villages and towns in Guinea, Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast, infesting more than 50 villages in less than a week. With that kind of speed, they could devastate entire sections of a country in an alarmingly short amount of time. And the armyworms have already been spotted in the United States.
The wormocalypse, coming to an everywhere near you.
Researchers have been working on a biological pesticide with a natural virus in it that will hopefully only affect the armyworms. To be clear, that's an experimental virus released on a massive population. Does that sound familiar? It might be time for scientists to step out of the lab for a night and actually watch a zombie movie or two.
Hordes of Giant African Snails
From a completely unscientific perspective, snails are just snot in a shell. They're slow, slimy and filled with diseases. You probably don't spend much time thinking about them until you hear that sickly crunch under your foot while walking down the sidewalk after a rainstorm. But that's because you haven't encountered the giant African land snail, which eats the walls off of houses.
On the other hand, they make great wallpaper paste.
The Department of Agriculture has declared Miami "ground zero" for a giant snail invasion that's causing problems for thousands of residents. An average snail is only a few centimeters long and goes unnoticed, but the giant snails in Florida can grow up to 18 centimeters long, and they eat just about everything. The snails' diet can include about 500 different types of plants, which is causing hell for agriculture in Miami. Aside from vegetation, the snails are also partial to stucco, so they are just as likely to destroy a garden as the exterior wall of your house.
And then shit all over it.
It's proving tough to get rid of the things, too: Each snail can lay up to 1,200 eggs a year. Florida's Department of Agriculture's solution to the problem? They're going door to door and picking up the snails in people's yards. That's it. They're just collecting them in plastic bags and putting them into a "deep freeze" because ... we have no idea why. Maybe in case we ever need to thaw them out in the future to stop Wesley Snipes in some Demolition Man scenario?
Salt those bad boys up and you could take the French junk food industry by storm.
Still, there's no way the Department of Agriculture can keep up with the breeding of the snails. So, to reiterate, we have an infestation that causes meningitis, and eats crops and houses. And it's spreading.
"Hey, I demand citizenship!"
Maybe we should just cover Florida in salt and call it a day.
For more species we need to kill with fire, check out 6 Animals Humanity Accidentally Made Way Scarier and 5 Species That Seem to be Trying to Take over the Earth.
And stop by LinkSTORM to discover the best way to exterminate a hobo infestation.
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