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Weird Saturday, December 7th 2013 at 4:00 pm

Huge Swarms Of “Crazy Ants” Are Taking Over The Southern US. Sweet Dreams!

Did we mention they're obsessed with ruining electronics?

Crazy Ants

Rasberry or Tawny crazy ants have invaded the Southern United States from Brazil, and they’re coming for you and everything you’ve ever loved. There’s no stopping these ants, which travel in hordes of millions, and are invading homes so quickly that no one knows how to stop them. Spoiler alert: this is how the world will end.

There are plenty of terrifying tidbits in Jon Mooallem‘s NYT piece on crazy ants, like the story of the man who discovered they are so horrifyingly pervasive that he had to Shop-Vac over 5 gallons of them out of an air vent. Or the guy who opened the back of his broken TV to find it pulsating with a mass of ants that had completed the circuit and shorted the television. Because, oh yeah, crazy ants love electricity and electronic devices (though they’ll ignore things regular ants love, like doughnuts). They’ve shut down whole chemical plants.

One small miracle is the fact that crazy ants don’t bite; but it hardly matters, since the ants have asphyxiated chickens by invading their nasal cavities, and blinded cows by swarming their eyes. If you think these ants wouldn’t do the same to a human, you are living in a dream world which I would like to visit.

An actual Texas A&M entomologist is quoted as saying, “You figure these stories are laced with hyperbole, but when you get in there, it’s unreal.” Mooallem himself just writes: “Holy [expletive] I can’t concentrate on what anyone’s saying. Ants all over me. Phantom itches. Scratching hands, ankles, now my left eye.”

Well… it can’t be all bad, right?

Oh, wait, researchers at Texas A&M have also shown that the ants can transfer pathogens from room to room.

(via The New York Times, image via Road Dog)

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