Giant, killer hornets that fly faster than people run are killing dozens and injuring thousands across China and Japan, and climate change is seen as one of the main culprits for the continuing spread of these invasive species.
About the size of a human thumb, the sting of an Asian Giant Hornet feels like being pierced by a hot nail, according to media reports detailing the experiences of the insects' unfortunate victims. More than just a few stings can result in kidney failure and death.
At least 42 are known to have died following attacks by the flying menace since July, and hospitals in the Chinese city of Ankang have resorted to setting up special units specifically to treat hornet sting victims.
Due to the warming temperatures, the population of hornets has only grown as milder winters allow more to survive the season. To make matters worse, they are believed to be spreading across Europe rapidly, leaving hundreds of thousands of dead honeybees in their path.
One of the giant hornets was even spotted in Illinois last year, according to The Arlington Cardinal newspaper, which has launched a Facebook page to help track sightings of the Asian Giant Hornet across the U.S.
This video is from "The Today Show," broadcast Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013 -- Giant hornets kill 42, injure thousands in China
This video is from National Geographic, published on YouTube on August 6, 2010.
Photo: Flickr user Thomas Brown, creative commons licensed.