Bushwalker stumbles across what he thinks is a shimmering puddle and discovers that there are actually thousands of tiny insects
- A bushwalker discovered thousands of tiny springtails writhing together in NSW
- He posted a skin crawling video on social media where he drew hundreds of comments
- One horrified observer said the pulsating mass looked like something from an alien
A bushwalker who tripped over a puddle realized that there were actually thousands of tiny insects.
The man was walking in the Hampton State Forest in southeast New South Wales when he saw a dark pulsing mass on a hiking trail on Sunday.
Upon further examination, he found that the mass was made up of thousands of springtails – tiny and wingless beetles – twisting in unison.
The man was walking in the Hampton State Forest in southeastern New South Wales when he saw a dark vibrant mass on a hiking trail on Sunday (picture)
On Tuesday, he posted a video on social media titled “Small pool full of thousands of weird bugs”.
The post attracted hundreds of comments from horrified viewers.
“Looks like something from Prometheus,” wrote one user, referring to a Ridley Scott alien movie.
“And that’s how man invented gasoline,” joked another, while others said they needed a flamethrower to go the way.
However, others pointed out that the animals are harmless to humans and keep natural habitats clean.
Upon further investigation, he found that the mass was made up of thousands of springtails – tiny and wingless beetles – writhing together (picture)
Springtails (pictured) are tiny, wingless, moisture-loving creatures that seek out moist environments
“They’re great for keeping closed terrariums healthy,” wrote one.
“Springtails are used in reptile husbandry to keep crested gecko enclosures as a cleaning crew, to keep mold and rotting matter at the proper level, and to work as it should,” wrote another.
Another added: “I often get feathered tails in my tarantula enclosures.”
Springtails do not carry disease and are common around the world, including Antarctica.
WHAT ARE SPRINGTAILS?
Springtails are tiny, wingless, moisture-loving creatures that seek out moist environments.
They are often grouped together in dense schools and can be found all over the world.
The insects are only 1-2 mm long and got their name from a tiny feather under their bodies that can be unleashed to make them fly 10 cm in the air.
Outside, they are found in damp soil, rotting straw, rotting leaves, and other damp organic matter. They feed on mold, mushrooms, and algae.
Inside, they are attracted to leaky pipes, under carpets or in bathrooms.
They don’t bite people, spread disease, or harm plants.
Source: Planet Natural Research Center