When Animals Invade: The Six Species That Are Trying to Take Over the World

January 5, 2010

Mankind likes to think it's pretty awesome. If you're like me, then you spend at least four hours a week mocking monkeys for their lack of opposable thumbs. Or taunting tigers for not inventing the internet. Occasionally though, animals get the upper hand, like when the monkey takes your car keys, or when the tiger takes your upper hand. Or, as in the examples below, when animals pool their vastly superior numbers and launch a vengeful invasion against the humans.

Source: Sue Flood/Photodisc/Getty Images

By Danny Harkins


6. Christmas Island Crabs

Christmas Island may have a deceptively attractive name, but this small island in the Indian Ocean is hiding a horrible secret: once every year it's invaded by over 150 million crabs.

The crabs set forth from their forest habitat on a migration course to the island's beaches, a migration that takes them across, over, under, and through every home, road, and building on the island.

Once on the beaches, the females lay eggs and the males fertilize them, which hatch and produce billions of tiny baby crabs.

Of course, the island's human population fight back against this crustacean occupation, crunching as many crabs as possibly under their cars, but the government has since introduced measures to combat this, building tunnels under roads and "crab crossings" to make the migration easier for the little orange invaders.

If you want to go see the migration in person, it usually takes place in October or November each year. Just remember to take a crowbar with you, in case one of the crabs jumps on your head and tries to turn you into a zombie.


5. Starlings



You've seen Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, right? Where a town is terrorized by thousands of birds? Well, it turns out that actually happened. Except it wasn't a small town, it was Rome. And it wasn't thousands of birds, it was millions. And it didn't happen once, it happens every single year, when each winter thousands of flocks of starlings descend on Rome and cover every building, vehicle, and stationary person in bird s***.

The starlings come from all over northern Europe to forage for food in the Italian countryside. But at night, they head for the capital city and settle in trees and parks, keeping the humans awake all night with their bird calls and leaving a layer of crap on any nearby cars and sidewalks.


The birds have become so cocky that they now seek complete control over the skies. In 2008, hundreds of suicide starlings flew directly into a Ryanair Boeing 737, forcing it to make an emergency landing.

The problem has gotten so bad that the Italian authorities have drafted in a crack team of specialists who head out into the bird filled streets each night in body suits and face masks and force the avian terrorists out of Rome using megaphones that play starling distress calls.

The strategy works in short term, but every winter the starlings come back, either because they're a ruthless species determined to seize control of the world and enslave the human race,  or because it's part of their migration pattern. Probably the former.


4. Cicadas


Source: Tsuneo Yamashita/Taxi Japan/Getty Images

If you live in West Virginia, then right now, under your feet, billions of tiny brown creatures are lying in wait for the year 2012, when, as per the Mayan calendar, they will rise up en masse, crawl out of the soil, and take over the state.

These insects are known as Cicadas, and the ones preparing to take over West Virginia in 2012 are known as Brood I, because scientists decided to give them as ominous a sounding name as possible. There are 13 broods in the eastern United States, each of whom spends 17 years underground, eating tree roots, and checking their tiny calendars. Once the wait is over, they crawl out of the crowd, climb up trees, walls and houses, mature into adults, and then start f***ing like crazy.


The males then promptly die, leaving the females to plant eggs in every nearby tree. Once the eggs hatch, the offspring fall to the ground and tunnel into the soil, were they restart the cycle and wait for another 17 years.

This process had been happening the same way for over a century now, although experts agree that the Cicadas are simply lulling humans into a false sense of security so they can take us by surprise when they finally crawl out of the ground and eat our young (the "experts" consist mainly of me).

3. Mormon Crickets


Source: Brian Head

 If you read the previous entry, then you know that the east cost of America is pretty much f***ed (if you didn't read the previous entry - go back and read the previous goddamn entry). So all you westerners must be feeling pretty smug right now, huh? No insect enslavement for you, right? Wrong, because come next summer, multiple hoards of crickets will begin marching across Nevada and Utah, stopping only to eat all the crops, and cannibalize those who don't march fast enough.

Yeah that's right, Mormon Crickets are cannibals, and any cricket that doesn't constantly move is eaten by those behind. That's how badass these guys are.

But it' not just other crickets these insects terrorize, they also attack humans. As one Nevada resident told the Wall Street Journal: "You'll wake up and there'll be one sitting on your forehead, looking at you". And probably holding a miniature knife and fork in its tiny cricket hands.

The Mormon Crickets can cause car accidents by swarming in their thousands across roads, and snowplows are often employed to remove all the slippery, squished dead bodies from the tarmac. Others measures used to fight the infestation include playing Led Zeppelin at loud volumes in order to scare the crickets away, and a cricket control scheme funded by a $1 million grant from the government, something John McCain is apparently pissed of about. But then, experts agree that John McCain is probably a Mormon Cricket in disguise (same experts as above).


2. Kangaroos


Source: Luis Ascui/Getty Images News/Getty Images

In 2003, cattle ranches in New South Wales, Australia, faced an outbreak of kangaroos. The area was overrun with over 14 million of the marsupials, who took over the land in response to drought conditions. In an attempt to bring the numbers of kangaroos down to manageable levels, hunters were brought in to shoot over two million of the species.

Still, you could hardly call that an attempt to take over the world right? It's just one, unique event. Not a problem. Except that in 2009 it happened again, when kangaroos took over the Queensland town of Thargomindah. The town had a population of just 203 people, until 50 kangaroos arrived and began terrorizing the townsfolk. It was exactly like an old western movie, except with kangaroos instead of Mexican bandits.

It's not known if the kangaroos stomped any of the townsfolk to death, but perhaps the story of the Ettlin family will shed some light on the violent, vengeful nature of kangaroos. In March of this year, in another Australian town, Beat Ettlin was sleeping peacefully alongside his partner when a kangaroo smashed through his bedroom window and landed on his bed. "My initial thought when I was half awake was: it's a lunatic ninja coming through the window," said Mr Ettlin, a man who clearly knows f*** all about ninjas. Ettlin then proceed to follow the "thrashing and bleeding two meter tall marsupial and wrestled it into a headlock before dragging it down the hallway and out the front door."

Three invasions in six years. It doesn't take Glenn Beck to see the pattern here. Australians - practice your headlocking, kangaroo-dragging skills, you've got a kangaroo coup coming your way any day now.


1. Australian Mice


Source: Bert and Babs Wells/Photolibrary/Getty Images

But first, you've got thousands of f***ing mice to deal with. Australia regularly gets plagues of mice, who eat all the crops and scare the crap out of the womenfolk and elephants.

One of the worst of these occurred in 1993, when hundreds of thousands of mice took over parts of the country. The mice would infest homes, eat crops, and destroy machinery. They would attack livestock and eat the legs of newborn pigs.

If you've got the stomach for it, check out the video below to see the full horror of the mice attack:


I like to consider myself an expert on everything, and I think I can say with confidence that Australia will fall to a mice/kangaroo alliance sometime early next year. The rest of the world take note, if you don't wise up to the threat of conniving, vengeful species, humanity will be doomed to a life of slavery at the hands of crabs and insects and birds and mice and kangaroos.

Stay frosty, people! If you see something say something, and try and kill as many animals as you can get your hands on.