You can now cross China off the list of places I plan to visit in my lifetime. When you consider that there are giant killer hornets over there, seeing the Great Wall just doesn’t feel worth the trip anymore.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those, “EEK! A wasp! RUN!!!” types who simply fear the creature for the sake of fearing them. The wasps I’m talking about the vespa mandarinia – also known as the Asian giant hornet (Also known as the world’s largest hornet… also known as a flying nightmare with a 2-inch body, a 3-inch wingspan and a quarter-inch stinger).
These monstrosities actually deserve my fear and your fear too. Not just because of their appearance. No, these things are actually killing people. In fact, 42 people have already died in the last three months alone from their sting. Add to that the over 1600 people who have been stung during the same period and have survived and you know for a fact that these bad boys mean business.
Asian hornets kill people every year so that’s not really news. The average death toll in Japan ranges between 30 to 50 per year. What is news is that they’ve taken their war against mankind up a few notches in recent years. You will recall how many I said have died in China. Forty-two! They’ve already passed Japan’s annual total in just three months.
Remember, not too long ago, there was a report coming out of the UK about their wasps getting drunk and attacking people because they were retired and had nothing else to do until winter killed them off? This is the reason I’m not visiting there anytime soon either. At least, not until after wintertime. Anyway, the situation in China is what happens when winter doesn’t hold up its end. Scientists say the increase in attacks is due to an increase in the wasp population. This, in turn is as a result of dryer weather and a warmer than usual winter last year.
So, yes, it is safe to assume global warming is to blame. Damn! We’re to blame. We’re the ones who brought this curse on ourselves.
The way the vespa mandarinia kills you too is just… just mean. Those quarter-inch stingers I mentioned earlier contain a venom that, while not as potent as the kind you’ll find in bees, are delivered in such high doses that they melt tissue and can cause renal failure.
If you’re still not convinced that they are pure evil I submit this horror story from a survivor of one of several Asian giant hornet attacks which occurred last month in the country’s central Shaanxi province:
I ran and shouted for help, but the hornets chased me about 200 meters, and stung me for more than 3 minutes.
Wait! There’s a back story to this that you need to know. This victim, Chen Changlin, was attacked while harvesting rice. The wasps attacked a woman and her son and they ran to him for help. The wasps then shifted their focus to Chen. The woman and the child died.
I’ll let that run through your mind for a bit…
They chase you! They love to chase you! Targets fleeing in fear attract them (As well as the smell of human sweat). Another victim from last month’s attacks confirmed that when he was quoted as saying that “the more you run, the more they want to chase you”.
It’s plain to see that this isn’t just about some poor, misunderstood little bug that’s just scared and reacting to the big, bad human’s assault on their way of life. They hate you and they want to kill you!
It’s a good thing these things are all the way in Asian continent… I mean, it sucks for them, but at least they’re contained in a specific area… Except for the few that were recently reported to be seen in Illinois.
DAMMIT!!! Now I can’t visit the US either.