Researchers believe that climate change may be contributing to a worldwide rise in insect populations which, so far, has yielded horrifying results. This week, the number of human deaths caused by the Giant Asian Hornet reached 28 in central China alone. The number of reported injuries due to the massive insects is well over 400.
Rising temperatures in Asia have created an optimal breeding environment for the hornets, which are roughly the size of human thumbs and traditionally prey on honeybees. However, as honeybee populations continue to decrease due to colony collapse disorder, the hornets have turned to attacking humans. Since 2005, the death toll from hornet attacks has more than doubled.
As if getting stung by a swarm of giant hornets isn’t bad enough, the venom from the quarter inch stinger can cause anaphylactic shock and kidney failure.
And, possibly the worst news yet, the Giant Asian Hornet is no longer exclusive to the continent in its name. Last year, the vicious insect – which has been known to chase victims for hundreds of meters and sting them up to 200 times – was spotted in Illinois.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock