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Scientists Discover Frightening Species of Wasp That Turns Spiders into Zombies

The Amazon rainforest is home to many frightening creatures, like giant Anacondas, flesh-eating piranhas, just to name a couple, and now you can add a new one to the list, a species of wasp that lays its eggs on the abdomen of spiders and then hijacks their brain, essentially turning them into zombies.

The previously unknown wasp of the Zatypota genus was discovered by researchers with the University of British Columbia (UBC) working in the Ecuadorian Amazon basin. They documented its symbiotic relationship with a species of so called “social spiders” and recently published some truly terrifying findings in the Ecological Entomology scientific journal. This newly discovered wasp is apparently able to hijack the nervous system of its host, forcing it to leave its colony, which it otherwise rarely does, protect the wasps larva and ultimately get eaten alive. It essentially turns the social spider into a zombie-like drone that then does the wasp’s bidding.

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Scary Mother Nature – Giant Wasp Nest Housing Millions of Stingers Found in Abandoned House

Just one wasp hovering around is enough to make people go crazy with fear, so i can’t imagine what the people of San Sebastián de La Gomera, in the Canary islands, must have felt like when they discovered a 21-foot wasp nest housing millions of stingers, right next to their homes.

The unusually large hive was discovered by local police officers after they had received numerous calls from concerned members of the community regarding large numbers of wasps swarming around an uninhabited house in San Sebastián de La Gomera. After breaking into the abandoned building they were shocked to discover a giant wasp nest in the hallway that experts say is home to millions of aggressive stingers. Measuring no less than 7 meters in size, the gargantuan structure doesn’t seem to have been built by the common type of wasp found in European gardens, but by an invasive species that must have migrated from Africa. The Canary Islands are located less than 100 kilometers from Morocco by water, so that’s a very likely scenario. Police have been unable to locate the owner of the house, but they’ve sealed off the place for safety reasons, until they determine how to best handle the problem. How about “kill it with fire”?!?

giant-wasp-nest

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The Impressive Wasp Nest Collection of ‘Hornet Boy’

Terry Prouty has been fascinated with wasps, ever since he was a little boy, growing up in Louisiana. Now he’s all grown up and is the owner of possibly the most impressive wasp nest collection in the world.

Mister Prouty now lives in Oklahoma, but his passion for wasps is just as strong as when he was just a boy. The self-entitled ‘Hornetboy’ is an advocate of wasps, and he says people are not as educated on wasps as they should be. Many of them just watch horror movies that give wasps a bad name, and they’re too scared to actually learn something about them.

The general opinion about wasps hasn’t stopped Terry Prouty from constantly studying these insects for the last 25 years, and putting together an impressive collection of nests from all around the world. He started his latest collection in 2000, and has since acquired impressive wasp nests which he proudly displays in his home. Most of them were bought online, for prices ranging from $10 to $200.

Check out Hornetboy’s entire collection on his Flickr stream.

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