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Deadly Hornets and Russian Comets

Not much time for posting due to work so a quick couple of snippets I found over at Pravda (no, not the BBC).

In the UK we have wasps which tend to be annoying (except me of course!) but in Japan they have some huge hornets that kill around 40 people per year from their stings.

The best bit here is that some rather silly people in America are keeping them as pets. How long before a colony escapes and starts stinging their way across the USA :

The Japanese Giant Hornet is one of the most dangerous insects in the world. Two stings is enough to kill most people and shoots flesh-melting acid at the face of its victims – usually at the eyes. This five-ayes monster is endemic in the rural areas of Japan.

In his article “Japanese Giant Hornets: World’s most dangerous insect US based researcher Terrence Aym* claims that the Japanese giant hornet, or Vespa mandarinia japonica, a subspecies of the Asian giant hornet, is “one of the most aggressive insects in the world”, which “can shoot flesh-melting acid at you” and “it aims for the eyes”, while “only a couple of stings is enough to kill most people”.The Japanese Giant Hornet, according to the researcher, has a wingspan of over 6 centimetres and is over 4 centimetres long. Three eyes on the top of its head sit between two large compound eyes. The insect has a dark brown thorax, a yellow head and a brown and yellow striped abdomen. The Japanese call it “Suzumebachi”, or Giant Sparrow Bee.

What comes next in the article is terrifying. “Imagine that this bug is a relentless killer, single-minded in destroying whatever enemy might threaten it – including you, if it perceives you as a threat”. However, “you don’t have to imagine it. It’s real”.

The advice the author gives, is “run” and “seek the nearest shelter as fast as you can”, indicating that there are stories of just 30 hornets destroying hives of 30,000 bees – one thousand bees each. Not that this would do you much good – the hornet can fly at 25 mph! When it attacks, it releases a chemical (an airborne pheromone) which sends a message back to base, rallying the hornet’s nest. “Only a few stings will result in almost certain death,” according to the article.

This horrific killer has a veritable arsenal of weapons. The highly venomous sting is only one. The other is a stream of flesh-melting acid which it squirts into the eyes of the victims. Blinded, they can do nothing to defend themselves against the enraged swarm.

Charming things aren’t they?

The second article which caught my eye was a report on a new examination of the Tunguska impact site which seems to have determined the object as being a comet rather than a meteor :

102 years after the fall of the famous celestial body in Tunguska taiga, scientists finally managed to identify the crash site of one of its fragments and examine the unusual composition of the substance of this space creature. The study was conducted using a unique instrument – GPR. As a result, it was proved that it was not a meteorite, but a comet.
The mystery of the Tunguska meteorite has long attracted the attention of researchers from around the world. Perhaps no visitor from outer space in the history of the mankind created so much noise, both literally and figuratively. The most surprising is the fact that in some hundred-odd years that have passed since that event, scientists have failed to solve this puzzle.

What happened in the Podkamennaya Tunguska River back in 1908? The witnesses say that on June 30 at about 7am something resembling a giant ball flew over the territory of Central Siberia in the north-western direction.

Its flight was accompanied by sound and light effects, and ended with a powerful explosion followed by a felling of forest between the rivers Kimchu and Hushmo – tributaries of the Podkamennaya Tunguska.
The explosion occurred at 7:14am local time. It was accompanied by a powerful earthquake which was registered by most seismological stations of the world, and air waves. It was noted that the echo of the explosion at Tunguska was heard over 800 kilometers away from the epicenter, the blast felled 2100 km ² of forest, and within a radius of 200 km windows of some houses were broken. Soon after, a magnetic storm began which lasted 5 hours.

“I was swinging my ax when the sky in the north has divided into two parts and a fire appeared in it above the forest, which covered the entire northern part of the sky. At that moment I felt so hot, as if my shirt was on fire. I wanted to tear and throw off my shirt, but the sky slammed shut and there was a strong blow. I was dropped off the porch and blown away.

After the strike came a tapping, as if rocks were falling from the sky or guns fired, the ground trembled, and when I lay on the ground, I feared that the rocks would break my head. At a time when the sky opened up, a hot wind swept from the north, like from a cannon, which has left traces on the ground in the form of tracks. Then it turned out that many of the windows shattered, and the iron tab for door lock in the barn was broken.”

I would imagine that was quite some experience!

Anyway, back to slaving over a hot spreadsheet.

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2 comments to Deadly Hornets and Russian Comets

  • […] Deadly Hornets and Russian Comets | The Waspsnest The Japanese Giant Hornet, according to the researcher, has a wingspan of over 6 centimetres and is over 4 centimetres long. Three eyes on the top of its head sit between two large compound eyes. The insect has a dark brown thorax, […]

  • I don’t like the sound of them wasps. Bog standard British wasps scare the crap out of me, those things sound like the stuff of nightmares.
    Japan is definately off my list of places to visit.