A giant black mass of beetles invading Argentinian beaches has local citizens worried about the apocalypse.
Frogs, lice, flies, locusts and other calamities once plagued Egypt, and now resorts near Buenos Aires are dealing with their own infestation of biblical proportions.
Social-media sites have erupted with warnings of “impending doom,” the U.K. Mirror reported Wednesday. One man said those experiencing the swarm realize “the end of times is near … they can sense it.”
The newspaper said a user identified as khnagar had a much simpler explanation for the beetles’ arrival: science.
“It looks like Black Maize Beetle (Heteronychus Arator), which are known for having mass flights in the summer/autumn where they mate and all that,” the observer noted. “Or it’s some similar type of beetle. They only live for a few days at that stage after crawling out of the ground. So a lot of beetles flew, got swept out to sea by the winds, and then came back to the beach, most of them dead or dying. Most likely scenario I can come up with.”
Whether the beetles are a sign that God will soon smite Argentina, or just a scientific marvel, citizens are making money on the insects.
Entrepreneurial Argentinians are allegedly selling the beetles for $30 per pound. They claim that secretions from the insect boost the human immune system and aide it in combating everything from asthma to AIDS, the Mirror reported.