A wild video from near Quilpie, Australia, a town in eastern Australia about 600 miles west of Brisbane, captured thousands of slater bugs moving across red soil in the middle of the Australian Outback. The sheer number of creepy critters moving across the dirt made it almost as if the surface of the Earth itself was moving.
Slater bugs — also known as roly polyies, woodlice, or pill bugs — are multi-legged, terrestrial crustaceans that can be found in humid regions across much of the world, including the United States, according to Storyful.
“My chooks (chicken) like to eat them when they get the chance, but I’ve never seen anything eat them out in the open and in motion,” said Wendy Sheehan, who posted the video to her Instagram. page.
Sheehan theorized that a recent rainfall could be the reason the seemingly endless stream of insects decided to run through rural Australia.
“I don’t know if it’s through the 5 millimeters [rain] we had last night, either in anticipation of rain, or a completely unrelated bug reason,” Sheehan said.
The video was uploaded on March 14, showing the weather in Quilpie in the days before with thunderstorms in the area. Perhaps the slater bugs were notified to seek shelter by a MinuteCast notification from the AccuWeather app, alerting users to incoming rain and storms. Or maybe the bugs were motivated to cross the road to get to the other side.
In the US, an insect that looks like it belongs in Australia is expected to eventually spread along the East Coast. The large but harmless Joro spider, which probably came to the US from Japan, is expected to spread northwards in the coming year.
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