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posted by martyb on Thursday August 03, @03:02PM   Printer-friendly
from the Braaaaiiiiinnnns!!!!! dept.

The BBC reports that northern England is currently under attack by exploding zombie caterpillars.

From the report:

Caterpillars are being killed by a bug which turns them into "exploding zombies", a wildlife expert has said. Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside Wildlife Trust said the skins of insects have been found on Winmarleigh Moss, near Garstang.

The caterpillars usually eat heather and bilberry but are being infected by a baculovirus which causes them to seek light so they climb up trees where they explode and the baculovirus is released to seek new hosts.

Fortunately higher animals such as humans are immune from such things ... or not!


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  • (Score: 4, Touché) by Runaway1956 on Thursday August 03, @03:06PM (2 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 03, @03:06PM (#548384) Journal

    Brexit should make it possible to confine the zombie outbreak to just this one isolated island, of little import. If confined to England, no major population centers should be affected.

    --
    This broadcast is intended for mature audiences.
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by BsAtHome on Thursday August 03, @03:14PM

      by BsAtHome (889) on Thursday August 03, @03:14PM (#548389)

      The north will be protected by Hadrian's Wall. If that fails, Antonine Wall may be the last resort before all of Brexit falls.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday August 03, @09:24PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday August 03, @09:24PM (#548490)

      God save the caterpillars.

      On the other hand, it's too late for the crazy cat ladies.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Thursday August 03, @03:16PM (2 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Thursday August 03, @03:16PM (#548390)

    They're turned into exploding zombies by crazy imams who infect them with powerful memes, and the videos of the explosion is then used to infect other healthy humans.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03, @03:33PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03, @03:33PM (#548398)

      The caterpillars must be Muslim.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by turgid on Thursday August 03, @08:42PM

      by turgid (4318) on Thursday August 03, @08:42PM (#548480) Journal

      Got one at last [bbc.co.uk]!

      Boss Hogg will be pleased.

      --
      Don't let Righty keep you down.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03, @03:18PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03, @03:18PM (#548393)
    I think I've played this video game before!
  • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Thursday August 03, @03:42PM (5 children)

    by RamiK (1813) on Thursday August 03, @03:42PM (#548399)

    Free publicity for Alien: Covenant Aug 15th bluray release: https://www.amazon.com/Alien-Covenant-DVD-DHD-Blu-ray/dp/B071YLX9D7 [amazon.com]

    On behalf of Weyland-Yutani, Thank You baculovirus!

    --
    compiling...
    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday August 03, @04:10PM (4 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 03, @04:10PM (#548409)

      The blandest movie I ever watched - no amount of publicity's gonna make me buy that garbage on bluray

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by RamiK on Thursday August 03, @06:11PM (3 children)

        by RamiK (1813) on Thursday August 03, @06:11PM (#548451)

        Bland is fair. But it wasn't garbage. Just unfocused with flat characterization since you had all that couples drama as partners were dying left and right without us being emotionally invested in any of them.

        Overall, while I agree it's not worth a bluray seeing how rewatchabilty is pointless, you could easily do worse with other bargain-bin picksor a netflix video on demands.

        --
        compiling...
        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday August 03, @09:58PM (2 children)

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 03, @09:58PM (#548497)

          Bland is fair. But it wasn't garbage.

          To me, bland=garbage.
          Even with B-movies, I'm able to get a lol or two on the account of how unrealistic the scenario can be or how marionette-like the play of the actors. I used to have "bad movie nights" until all the movie rentals around went busted (no, I don't intend to netflix soon) but I still won't pick Alien Convenant a second time even if someone pays me for.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 04, @02:46PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 04, @02:46PM (#548735)

            It can't always be caviar...

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Gaaark on Thursday August 03, @03:57PM

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 03, @03:57PM (#548405) Homepage Journal

    "Dawn of the night of the day of the son of the bride of the return of the no longer walking dead because they all just 'sploded."

    Movie script in the works. It'll be yuuuuge.

    --
    --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03, @06:18PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03, @06:18PM (#548456)

    It's not clear if the "trick" of the virus is to get it to climb high up to be heated by the sun in order to explode (releasing virus copies), or if the virus causes it to directly explode and it's high up to spread further (spray wider before hitting ground), or being high is to be seen and eaten by birds so that birds spread the virus, or combo. If the purpose is to get eaten by birds, then exploding is not necessary, and thus may be a side-effect of being high (too much sun). Thus, what role do birds and sun play, if any? Birds were mentioned in passing only.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03, @07:56PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03, @07:56PM (#548470)

      what role do birds and sun play, if any?

      None.
      Scientists have replicated this phenomenon in a laboratory setting. I forget if they identified which viral proteins are responsible.

    • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Friday August 04, @01:37AM

      by hendrikboom (1125) on Friday August 04, @01:37AM (#548545) Homepage

      What! You're actually imputing purpose to evolution?

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by PartTimeZombie on Thursday August 03, @10:54PM

    by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Thursday August 03, @10:54PM (#548513)

    We find these occasionally [teara.govt.nz] which is a similar type of thing, although infecting an underground caterpillar.

    I believe there are other fungi that make the caterpillar climb up grass stalks to spread spores better. Seems like an awful way to die.

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