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Beetles are not generally known for attacking humans, and they certainly are not known for conducting city-wide invasions, at least not in the United States. In Australia, on the other hand, beetle invasions can land people in the hospital. Back in 2011, hundreds of thousands of beetles stormed Gold Coast, terrifying numerous nearby residents and injuring one biker.

So far, researchers have documented around 350,000 beetle species in the world, and many more have yet to be discovered. Of these 350,000 species, only 30,000 have been documented as dwelling in the United States. Considering the lack of wide-scale beetle invasions in the US, the fiercest species must be native to Australia. The massive beetle invasion that occured in Australia in 2011 is unprecedented and the causes of this invasion are not clear to researchers.

During the invasion, one 61 year old resident, Ken Tomkins, had been riding his bike when he spotted what looked like a black slick slowly flowing across an area of sidewalk several yards in in front of him on his path. Once he arrived, he found that the black slick had actually been a large group of traveling beetles. Unfortunately, before Ken realized what was going on, his bike slid over a pile of crushed beetle corpses, causing him to wipe out. As a consequence of the crash, Ken sustained a shattered hip as well as broken ribs and a broken collarbone.

The beetle presence was so thick that snow plows had to be dispatched to clear the roads of all beetles. A Youtube video captured some of the chaos that resulted from the invasion, and experts regard this particular event as an unexplained phenomenon. Professor of entomology, Clyde Wild, from Queensland’s Griffith University, claimed that he had never seen such a large swarm before, and he had no idea why it seemed to originate near a beach. Clyde claims that a person in the area may see two or three of these water beetles per night, but hundreds of thousands of them in one location escapes explanation.

Do you have a fear of beetles?