As if 2020 wasn't a bad enough year already, murder hornets have been spotted in the United States for the first time. Vespa mandarinia is a ferocious insect that typically isn't found in North America, but in the last few months, they've been spotted in Washington state.
And if you couldn't guess by the name, they're not nice guys. Experts are worried because murder hornets can decapitate entire colonies of bees in a very short amount of time. We rely on honey bees—which have already been decimated by colony collapse disorder, pesticides, and climate change—to pollinate our crops.
Experts are hoping to eradicate the murder hornet in North America before it becomes too entrenched.
Murder hornets can also kill humans, though cases are low in numbers. The insects kill around 30 to 50 people a year in Japan. In 2013, they killed 42 people in a single Chinese province.
"They're like something out of a monster cartoon with this huge yellow-orange face," Susan Cobey at Washington State University's department of entomology said of murder hornets.
So when news broke that murder hornets had somehow made it to the United States, people were understandably concerned.
CDC: how can we get them to stop going outside?— Eternal Samnation (@portmanteauface) May 3, 2020
God: *inventing murder hornets* lol check this out
But as it turns out, we may have a new friend in the battle against murder hornets - the praying mantis. The aptly named Twitter account 'nature is metal' recently posted a video that supposedly shows a praying mantis eating a murder hornet as it squirms, and people are all for it.
Be warned, it's a little graphic.
The people of Twitter seem to be on the side of the praying mantis. One user branded the mantis' actions as "essential work."
Essential work— Jimmy VHyde (@JimmyVhyde) May 7, 2020
"I think in this case it was a Murder Mantis eating a Praying Hornet," another user remarked.
I think in this case it was a Murder Mantis eating a Praying Hornet.— Jarek (@GRJarek) May 7, 2020
For others, the video just makes murder hornets even more terrifying. "Am I seeing this wrong or was that little demon still trying to sting AFTER HIS HEAD WAS COMPLETELY REMOVED?" one user asked.
Am I seeing this wrong or was that little demon still trying to sting AFTER HIS HEAD WAS COMPLETELY REMOVED?— @ social pisstancing (@FireisWet) May 7, 2020
Another commenter simply added: "He ate his face first. Damn nature. You scary."
He ate his face first.— Rhys (@RhysWortham) May 7, 2020
Damn nature. You scary.
And this isn't the only reason that people love the praying mantis. "Also love when female mantis eat the males head off after mating. Power move," one user remarked.
Also love when female mantis eat the males head off after mating. Power move— Jackson Kinder (@JacksonKinder_) May 7, 2020
You're the hero that 2020 needs, praying mantis.