A photo showing thousands of hairy and dangerous insects covering an entire tree trunk has gone viral.
The picture, which was shared on a Facebook page of the Australian Geographic, shows the bizarre moment an entire tree trunk was coated in thousands of hairy processionary caterpillars from top to bottom.
“Now this is an image from our nightmares. While you may be familiar with the long lines of processionary caterpillars, you’ve probably never seen a tree trunk completely carpeted in them,” the text accompanying the viral photo read.
The animals that appear in the photo are known as processionary caterpillars due to their habit to travel in long lines when they switch locations.
These insects are also known for hatching near trees and feeding on bark. While they may appear cute and cuddly, their tiny hairs contain a toxin that may cause severe irritation and an allergic reaction upon contact with human skin.
After the photo went viral, people were quick to recall the painful times they came into contact with the hairy caterpillars.
“I had an allergic reaction to these when I was a kid. Gives me the heebie jeebies whenever I see them,” someone wrote.
“One of the houses I lived in as a child had one tree that every year would be covered in hairy caterpillars! The thought of it gives me goosebumps!” another one recalled.
“We get them here in Spain around now. We see them walking in a line and hanging off pine trees,” the third suggested.
One person said: “I have walked on them with bare feet a couple of times. The itching nearly sent me crazy.”
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