A Real Alien Invasion Is Coming to a Palm Tree Near You | Deep Look

A Real Alien Invasion Is Coming to a Palm Tree Near You | Deep Look

Aah, Southern California. Y’know, the whole “surf’s up, Tinseltown,
sun-soaked glamour” thing? Too bad this idyllic landscape is mostly make-believe. Take the palm trees. They’re not even real trees. They’re more closely related to grass. And they’re imported. Like this Canary Island date palm. It came halfway around the world to be one
of the more dazzling stars in the landscape. But this Hollywood success story is turning
into a horror movie. This little monster is the South American
palm weevil. Scientists first found it in San Diego in
2011. Weevils are just beetles… with snouts. This female uses hers as a drill, to get at
the palm’s apical meristem. It’s a bowl of juicy goodness at the top,
where the leaves sprout. She lays her eggs down in those tunnels. And her spawn eat the palm from the inside
out… starting with its heart. That’s right; it’s the same stuff you
can get at the supermarket. They’ll turn this palm’s healthy flesh
into a rotting mess that smells like a dumpster in the sun. Once they’re big enough, the larvae will
spin cigar-shaped cocoons from the leftover fibers they can’t eat. As the trees’ fronds starve and die, the
larvae hang out and gestate, morphing into pupae, and… Ew, that’s just, oh man… That’s gross. As adults, they burst out, take flight and
seek out a new host… leaving behind the dying, hollow shell of a once majestic palm. Mark Hoddle, at UC Riverside, is tracking
the weevil infestation. He puts them on a kind of aerial treadmill
in his lab to test their stamina. He’s trying to figure out how they got here,
whether they hitched a ride on imported palms, or made the trip themselves. Turns out they can fly up to 15 miles a day,
enough to hopscotch from palm to palm on their own. The only way to stop them: treat every palm
tree in their path with pesticides before the weevils get there. That’ll be tough to do. So these particular botanical icons could
be on the fast track to being just another Hollywood has-been. These weevils are pretty gnarly. So we asked Anna Rothschild from Gross Science
to do those animations for us. Thanks, Anna! ANNA: You’re welcome! It’s my pleasure. I love gross stuff. LAUREN: So there is one other way to manage
these larvae, sort of a biological control, which people do in some places, like Thailand,
Peru and Ghana. ANNA: Entomophagy! LAUREN: Eating bugs. Mmm. Tasty. ANNA: So hop over to my channel for a whole
episode about it. LAUREN: And thanks for watching this Deep

100 thoughts on “A Real Alien Invasion Is Coming to a Palm Tree Near You | Deep Look”

  1. Greetings! I'm the producer of this episode of Deep Look. I wish we could have brought it to you in smell-o-vision. The stink of the infested tree filled a whole city block, and got all over my shirt. Leave us your questions and comments! And visit Anna at Gross Science, too. —Elliott

  2. Ewwwwwww…..🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮 You Making Me Sick!!! I just watching this is get some biological knowledges👨‍🎓👨‍🎓

  3. I just hope they never migrate to the Pacific Northwest and develop a taste for windmill palms; I Highly doubt it though 😉 Greetings from Vancouver.

  4. you have a project to make a working helicopter but fails to power the propeller

    so you glue a beetle on each side of the propeller

  5. In maldives we call that ruku madi and we dont eat those plus its so hard to kill! There is brown and black ones here -_-

  6. In my country, Vietnam we eat them. They taste just like the york part of the egg nothing more. Very tasty and nutritious.

  7. I don't like your tone, lady. A "real" alien invasion?


    jk jk..

    But aliens are real. At least the "UFO" stuff is… whatever they may be.

  8. These insects killed almost all the palm trees in our farm☹️ and it would take 25 yrs for us to recover.

  9. That's the way it goes…… In the game of LIFE, the strong survive.
    Nature will decide what belongs here, and what doesn't
    Mankind's biggest problem is; The need to control.

  10. "First discovered in San Diego these larvae eat palms from the inside out creating the smell of a hot dumpster"
    Me, a San diegan: Looks outside my window at the palm trees in my backyard.

  11. Guys we need to save the planet these animals are already breaking these trees now we just need to recycle

  12. 🤣🤣 it’s funny they are called aliens. In Cameroon(Africa) we eat their larva. And they are so tasty🤤

  13. Well overhere in my place, the big larvae is a traditional cuisine. The trees which same species as palm, sometimes purposedly cut halfway through to encourage the beetle to lay its eggs. Thennn, harvest it out and eat it.

  14. Take time to appreciate the makers. The hardwork put can easily be seen in your presentation.
    Kudos for such enthusiasm!

  15. @ 2:22 lm with Lauren. That IS just gross !! 🤢 l seriously need to stop watching the particularly disturbing videos before going to sleep, lol I'd rather be 'squicked out ' during the daylight hours 👍🙂👍

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