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Scientists Discover Solar Powered Hornets

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the beware-of-the-electric-bees dept.

Science 177

adeelarshad82 writes "The oriental hornet is more active during the day, and tends to become even more active as the temperature rises. And now scientists have discovered the reason: the hornets are solar powered. It turns out that the distinctive yellow stripe on the hornet's abdomen is actually full of tiny protrusions that gather sunlight and harness it for energy. The insect also features a special pigment, called xanthopterin, that helps with the process."

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177 comments

Oh no.... (3, Funny)

JDeane (1402533) | more than 3 years ago | (#34495804)

I for one welcome our solar powered insect overlords?

Re:Oh no.... (1)

Sovetskysoyuz (1832938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34495880)

No need to suck up to them, just wait for a cloudy day and the resistance will triumph.

Re:Oh no.... (1)

sadness203 (1539377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34495928)

You mean, they will enslave us and harvest our energy!

Re:Oh no.... (4, Funny)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496152)

What we know for sure is that we did this to the sky, it was believed at the time that the hornets used solar power as their main energy source...

Re:Oh no.... (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497950)

Helmets? Solar power?

It seems an obvious bit of engineering, really. Hardly worth the description as a "discovery."

What's that you say? Helmet? No?

Oh. Hornet! Heh...

Well, nevermind that, then.

Re:Oh no.... (2)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496296)

They get their powers from our yellow sun?

Re:Oh no.... (2)

MokuMokuRyoushi (1701196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496356)

Quick! Turn off the sun!

Re:Oh no.... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497100)

Does that mean they have a super sense of humor?

Re:Oh no.... (1)

ocdscouter (1922930) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497790)

Just let me get my lead box out...

Re:Oh no.... (0)

TheBlackMan (1458563) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496504)

Can you imagine a beowulf cluster of thes.... oh, wait.

Chrysler? (1, Offtopic)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34495806)

Now in the electric car business, too!?!

Re:Chrysler? (1)

arcsimm (1084173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497374)

Nah, you're thinking of AMC.

Solar powered eh... (5, Funny)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#34495814)

Guess that would make one a "green" hornet...

Sorry, couldn't resist...

Re:Solar powered eh... (5, Funny)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496000)

Ouch, that one stung.

Re:Solar powered eh... (0)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496010)

puns are pun-tastic

Re:Solar powered eh... (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496888)

This one is buzz worthy.

Re:Solar powered eh... (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496814)

Shocking!

Re:Solar powered eh... (1)

binaryseraph (955557) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496838)

Makes me pretty hornety.

Re:Solar powered eh... (-1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496030)

Is this different from being cold-blooded? I imagine so, as this sounds like an animal analogue of photosynthesis.

Re:Solar powered eh... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497230)

I don't know but if they are anything like the wasps we get in the south they are sure pissy during the day, maybe the extra energy makes them grouchy? I'd love to know what kind it is we get around here because the wiki says southern wasps are about a half inch long, but especially around farms we get these really big bastards that live in holes in the ground and I swear are bigger around than a man's thumb and SERIOUSLY bad tempered! They are heavy enough I have seen them make ping dents on the hood of a 70s Chevy when fighting. Apparently they are territorial as hell and do NOT like it when others wasps come near. real nasty buggers and a real bitch to get rid of.

As for TFA it really doesn't surprise me, the better our tech gets the more things we learn. If it is one thing we should have learned by now on this crazy little ball is life comes in infinite varieties and pretty much anything that can be used for food or energy has probably been tried probably a dozen times over in the natural kingdom. Hell we've found things that live on methane, live at depths that crush reinforced steel like a cheap beer can, why not solar? It is after all the most abundant energy source we have on the planet.

Re:Solar powered eh... (5, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496156)

"Green" does seem to be a buzzword these days.

Re:Solar powered eh... (2)

lan O'Nymous (1952610) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496698)

Which would explain the popularity of Vespas.

Re:Solar powered eh... (1)

brusk (135896) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496780)

Especially among WASPs.

Re:Solar powered eh... (4, Funny)

cvnautilus (1793340) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497260)

They couldn't get enough energy from pollen, so they moved to plan bee.

Re:Solar powered eh... (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497588)

that stung.

What does the wasp do with it? (4, Interesting)

plover (150551) | more than 3 years ago | (#34495856)

Since xanthopterin converts light directly into electricity, according to the research, what exactly does the wasp do with the electricity produced? Does it directly excite muscles? Is there a tiny capacitor in the abdomen that dumps the energy into pulling the wings down?

Re:What does the wasp do with it? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34495994)

I scanned the document but it seems to end at the point where the energy is collected. The don't seem to suggest how it could be used.

Re:What does the wasp do with it? (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496142)

They say that they presume at least some of it is used for energy. The final claim, then, that the pigment is the main metabolic source, seems shakey, but it's probably safe, but not scientific, to say that the wasp wouldn't harvest sunlight and turn it into electricity just for shits n giggles. More work clearly remains to be done.

Re:What does the wasp do with it? (5, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496314)

Brings to mind the Platypus which uses electricity to locate prey. Maybe hornets use electric potentials as a sensory input.

Re:What does the wasp do with it? (1)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496342)

Can wasps giggle?

Re:What does the wasp do with it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34496188)

Since when does photosynthesis require the main power output to be electricity specifically?

Re:What does the wasp do with it? (4, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496368)

Since xanthopterin converts light directly into electricity, according to the research, what exactly does the wasp do with the electricity produced? Does it directly excite muscles? Is there a tiny capacitor in the abdomen that dumps the energy into pulling the wings down?

Presumably it would use the electrons generated in a redox [wikipedia.org] reaction which generate ATP [wikipedia.org] which is the basic power supply of the cell.

Of course, this is all very hypothetical and hand waving at this point. However, if real, it could be a Big Deal - now you have another molecule, aside from the chlorophyll complex that can take photons and use them in cellular reactions. Photosynthesis is quite a bit more efficient that photovoltaic cells - assuming that this really does produce electrons at the end of the reaction and it's similarly efficient, or even just easier to copy / clone / manipulate, we might yet have a decent solar to electricity system.

One of these days.

Re:What does the wasp do with it? (1)

plover (150551) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496990)

Cloning the power cells would be interesting, and was the first thing I thought of when I saw it, too. I'm sure they could find the genes to splice to produce the xanthopterin in another organism, such as a conveniently non-flying and non-stinging pine tree. But without the insect's sophisticated chitin structure to collect the energy I suspect much of it would be wasted; and that's only if there's enough light energy to start the reaction at all.

But the thought of hooking electrodes up to a Frankentree and hanging LEDs from the branches just kind of amuses me.

Re:What does the wasp do with it? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497122)

One of these days.

Bang, zoom, straight to the Moon!

Re:What does the wasp do with it? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34497228)

Photosynthesis is quite a bit more efficient that photovoltaic cells

Uh no. Photosynthesis efficiency varies from 0.1% to 8%. Solar panels go from 6% to 41%. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis#Efficiency .

Re:What does the wasp do with it? (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496430)

The big question in my mind: what's the efficiency, and can it be produced in bulk?

Re:What does the wasp do with it? (1)

Malcolm Chan (15673) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497040)

From the original paper [springerlink.com] :

The xanthopterin pigment found within the cuticle has been proven to be a suitable absorber of light for the harvesting of solar energy by a demonstration of its use in an organic solar cell, with a conversion efficiency of 0.335%.

I assume this was just a "proof of concept" organic solar cell, so the efficiency could probably be increased, but 0.335% doesn't sound like much!

Re:What does the wasp do with it? (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497682)

yeah, from what I hear, we have near term potential for 20% panels that are fairly cheap to make.

Re:What does the wasp do with it? (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496642)

Abstract
The Oriental hornet worker correlates its digging activity with solar insolation. Solar radiation passes through the epicuticle, which exhibits a grating-like structure, and continues to pass through layers of the exo-endocuticle until it is absorbed by the pigment melanin in the brown-colored cuticle or xanthopterin in the yellow-colored cuticle. The correlation between digging activity and the ability of the cuticle to absorb part of the solar radiation implies that the Oriental hornet may harvest parts of the solar radiation. In this study, we explore this intriguing possibility by analyzing the biophysical properties of the cuticle. We use rigorous coupled wave analysis simulations to show that the cuticle surfaces are structured to reduced reflectance and act as diffraction gratings to trap light and increase the amount absorbed in the cuticle. A dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) was constructed in order to show the ability of xanthopterin to serve as a light-harvesting molecule.

Re:What does the wasp do with it? (1)

carnalforge (1207648) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497018)

It's used for the sound [wikipedia.org] .

Sorry, couldn't resist

Re:What does the wasp do with it? It's a bug! (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497060)

The little bug uses the electricity to power its microphone, mini camera and micro radio transmitter.

Re:What does the wasp do with it? (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497580)

The yellow energy absorbing area on the "end" of the wasp is known as the "fat body" apparently the converted energy stimulates the metabolism of fat causing the wasp to do more work. The majority of fat on this wasp is stored here. FTA:

Until now, insects were thought to perform metabolism in an organ known as the fat body, which performs a similar function to the human liver. Most of the fat body is in an insect's abdomen surrounding the gut, where it can quickly take up absorbed nutrients, though some is scattered elsewhere.

journal article (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34495858)

It's unfortunately paywalled, but in case anyone has access to a library with a subscription, the journal article this news article is about is:

Plotkin et al. (2010). Solar energy harvesting in the epicuticle of the oriental hornet (Vespa orientalis) [springerlink.com] . Naturwissenschaften 97(12): 1067-1076.

Re:journal article (5, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34495912)

It's unfortunately paywalled, but in case anyone has access to a library with a subscription, the journal article this news article is about is:

Plotkin et al. (2010). Solar energy harvesting in the epicuticle of the oriental hornet (Vespa orientalis). Naturwissenschaften 97(12): 1067-1076.

The full text [springerlink.com] works for me and I'm not in a library or anywhere else with a journal subscription.

Re:journal article (2)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496076)

works for me too, I figured it was because I was on campus though...

From the 'Results' Section:

"Previous studies have shown diffusion potential across the
cuticle, with the inside negative with respect to the outside.
Digby (1965) has suggested that electrons move through the
semiconductive cuticular layer. This process creates calcium
carbonate that precipitates in the cuticle. In conclusion, we
have presented evidence supporting the hypothesis that the
Oriental hornet has evolved a cuticle design to harvest solar
energy. RCWA simulations show that the surface structures
confer AR and light-trapping properties, enhancing absorption
by approximately 5% compared to a flat surface. The
xanthopterin pigment found within the cuticle has been
proven to be a suitable absorber of light for the harvesting of
solar energy by a demonstration of its use in an organic solar
cell, with a conversion efficiency of 0.335%. Future work
will focus in investigating the complex layered structure
observed in the cuticle cross-sections, and its possible role in
solar energy harvesting."

It seems like this paper was concerned solely with establishing whether the Wasp actually collects solar energy, not where it goes once it's been collected. The reference to "This process creates calcium carbonate that precipitates in the cuticle. " Is about the only thing I could describe as the 'end result' of the process, and doesn't mean a whole lot to me.

Someone with a better background in chemistry or biology care to comment?

Re:journal article (4, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496182)

Oh, interesting, sorry for the mis-labeling then. It worked for me, but I'm on a campus that subscribes to Springer journals, which are usually paywalled, so I assumed it was paywalled.

It looks like Naturwissenschaften is part of a "Springer OpenChoice" program where authors can choose to make their paper open-access by paying Springer $3,000, which these authors must've done I guess? I rarely see anyone pay those fees in my field (computer science), but I've heard that in biology grants are more willing to pay such fees.

Re:journal article (2)

tsa (15680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497830)

The scientific literature world is pretty strange. Usually you pay around 90$ per page to get your article published in a paid journal. The journal doesn't have to do much for that. The reviewers work for free so they only have to send some letters around and do the typesetting. To have the article 'in the open' you pay a staggering 3000$ for which they do nothing! Amazing

Re:journal article (1)

hotdoghead (1577461) | more than 3 years ago | (#34498014)

Some institutions and universities cover the OpenChoice cost for the authors.

Solar power, all the buzz (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34495872)

It stings with curiosity.

Not a unique ability (4, Interesting)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34495874)

From TFA:

The Oriental hornet has a unique ability to harvest solar energy, scientists have discovered.

Not true. Many marine organisms use Zooanthella [wikipedia.org] to harvest solar energy. This is why a number of corals and anemone are very difficult to keep in marine aquariums - the spectrum and power of artificial light has to be "just right" otherwise the organisms eject their zooantehlla cells and as a result starve to death over the following weeks or months.

Re:Not a unique ability (4, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496054)

Not true. Many marine organisms use Zooanthella to harvest solar energy. This is why a number of corals and anemone are very difficult to keep in marine aquariums - the spectrum and power of artificial light has to be "just right" otherwise the organisms eject their zooantehlla cells and as a result starve to death over the following weeks or months.

It's worth noting here that this is a symbiotic relationship between two species. It appears that the hornets may have a novel mechanism that isn't the result of symbiosis.

Re:Not a unique ability (0)

slew (2918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496092)

Not sure that you can equate certain marine organism host requirements to enslave certain species of Zooanthalla forcing them to photosynthesis food (sugars) for the host with having a native ability of an organism to harvest solar energy directly, but nice try...

hornet matrix (1)

Mordie (1943326) | more than 3 years ago | (#34495892)

so if we get millions of hornets and put them in a giant solar array, we get power out of them ?? do we have to jack their little hornet brain into a computer to see if we can pull a few more watts of out of them.

Re:hornet matrix (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496168)

Resisting urge... failing...

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of nests of hornets.

That hurts.

Re:hornet matrix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34496376)

Imagine a cloud of hornets.

Re:hornet matrix (1)

ocdscouter (1922930) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497810)

Imagine Microsoft purchasing that hornet cloud, and cross-breeding it with the Azure platform. Now what do we call it? Microsoft Emerald?

This will usher in a new era of solar power... (1)

Senes (928228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34495902)

...which will then be promptly shot down by patent trolls.

Trolls (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497554)

Hide under bridges and do not come out in the sun often. Indeed, scientific research (Tolkien, The Hobbit 1937, Effects of solar radiation on Evil Humanoids) suggests that some of their light receptors go into overdrive and turn them into stone under direct sunlight.

Re:Trolls (1)

ocdscouter (1922930) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497820)

The trolls will license a cloud as a workaround.

How will this influence solar power research? (4, Interesting)

Required Snark (1702878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34495916)

This will clearly have influence on future solar power research. I know that there are research groups trying to use insights from plant photosynthesis for building solar cells, and having another natural system that is not plant (or bacterium) based will inspire a lot of new work.

One of the things that is most interesting is the nano-structures that are used to make light gathering more efficient. Understanding these structures could improve the efficiency of existing solar power collectors. With current genetic techniques it might even be possible to grow these structures, and perhaps even used grown material in real world applications.

Another point is that the wasp's collection structures are yellow, not green like plant chlorophyll. The green color results from chlorophyll not using green light, but absorbing more blue end light. If the wasps look yellow, that might mean that they are efficient in a different part of the visible light spectrum.

Re:How will this influence solar power research? (2)

blai (1380673) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496116)

Maximum efficiency of a solar panel is achieved when it is black (harvesting all visible light frequencies, and possibly UV/IR), so I don't see the point of making a yellow panels because we found yellow hornets.

Re:How will this influence solar power research? (1)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496248)

I don't see the point of making a yellow panels because we found yellow hornets.

Combine technology that absorbs everything but green with technology that absorbs everything but yellow, perhaps?

Re:How will this influence solar power research? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496848)

I have absolutly no amount of expertise in this, but I would guess that the yellow pigments are chosen because yellow is a color of warning. Maybe it also suffers from less photodegradation as well? A combination of the two possibly makes yellow the ideal choice. I dunno, but either way I'm guess it has something to do with how yellow pigments react to light.

Re:How will this influence solar power research? (2)

tsa (15680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497848)

They weren't chosen. They turned out to work. Evolution is a random process, remember?

Re:How will this influence solar power research? (4, Informative)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496130)

Ideas, yes (e.g. use of patterned capture surfaces, possible multiple reflections to increase the efficiency of a cell? Maybe not quite new).

New materials? The full text [springerlink.com] version of the article (posted by someone above), mentions a measured the conversion efficiency of a xanthopterin-sensitized TiO2 solar cell to 0.335% - clearly some more work needs to be done (e.g. other substate to senzitize?).

Re:How will this influence solar power research? (-1, Offtopic)

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Re:How will this influence solar power research? (1)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496624)

No they just don't absorb all that much energy. The efficiency is like 0.335%.

Why only a small portion of the abomen? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34495920)

One thing that puzzles me about this claim is that the light absorbing area is a relatively small part of the abdomen. If one looks at trees, you see that the leaves grow in a way that collects light rather well, with a high surface area for the infrastructure (stem, trunk, roots, etc) involved.

Given that this is Slashdot and we're obligated by the terms of the EULA to speculate obsessively on such things, I have a few guesses. I'll assume here that the research turns out to be true (and that there's some chemical pathway from sunlight to either ATP or energy storing materials like proteins or fats). First, this is a flying insect, so there's a survival trade off between an aerodynamic body and greater light collecting area. Second, there might be heating problems associated with light absorption. Third, it might be a relatively recent evolutionary and hence, the insect hasn't yet evolved an efficient energy gathering apparatus.

Re:Why only a small portion of the abomen? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34495948)

there's some chemical pathway from sunlight to [...] ATP

Got to get my hands on that gene!

Re:Why only a small portion of the abomen? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34495958)

Got to get my hands on that gene!

I'm game as long as I don't end up bright yellow.

Re:Why only a small portion of the abomen? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496132)

Maybe this explains the Simpsons.

Re:Why only a small portion of the abomen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34496138)

You'd look even more like a Simpsons character. That wouldn't be good for anyone.

Re:Why only a small portion of the abomen? (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497076)

Humans already synthesize a biomolecule that interacts with light sources. It's called Melanin. [sciencedirect.com]

Genetic engineering to utilize melanin to produce ATP would create natural evolutionary pressure to make humans darker colored, which might piss off certain "Ethnic purity" [cough, sputter] groups, but considering that being darkly colored is widely considered normal, and even attractive, I don't see this as being a problem.

Re:Why only a small portion of the abomen? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496102)

Because what we need in the Western world is a greater energy intake into our bodies...

Re:Why only a small portion of the abomen? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496124)

Meanwhile in Africa...

Re:Why only a small portion of the abomen? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496198)

Because genetically engineering your population to gather solar energy is cheaper than feeding them.

Re:Why only a small portion of the abomen? (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496208)

TFA is puzzling in this respect:

Until now, insects were thought to perform metabolism in an organ known as the fat body, which performs a similar function to the human liver.
Most of the fat body is in an insect's abdomen surrounding the gut, where it can quickly take up absorbed nutrients, though some is scattered elsewhere.
"We have found that the main metabolic activity in the Oriental hornet is actually in the yellow pigment layer," says Dr Plotkin.

The full-text article [springerlink.com] , makes no mention of the "fat body" and doesn't get a hint by what reasoning this conclusion is to be derived? The correlation between sunny conditions and hornet's digging activity is not quite a strong indication to me - I mean: ants are most active when the weather is hot, yet they apparently don't relly on capturing the solar radiation.

Re:Why only a small portion of the abomen? (1)

kanto (1851816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496286)

Fourth, could be that the area is sufficient to fulfill the hornets needs. Fifth, maybe it's expensive for the hornet to grow this eccentric structure. Sixth, if they dig holes they'd probably like the solar panels to just be in the area that sticks out from the ground the most; depends on how directly they can harness the energy, if they can't really store it, it doesn't make sense for it to be everywhere on their body.

p.s. dear slashdot, isn't it overkill to tell people who actually read the EULA to obsess about things?

Re:Why only a small portion of the abomen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34496352)

I would think that it's because a hornet is a really small organism. It doesn't need that much energy. Whereas trees can get pretty big.

No need for air? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34495922)

I wonder how they would go on Mars? Should we give it a go?

Maybe not. Hard to see what we would send to kill the hornets if they got out of control.

Re:No need for air? (1)

mikaelwbergene (1944966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496096)

Also not sure about the benefit of creating our very own hornet overlords of Mars.

That is if they learn to eat rocks, and then we're really boned.

Re:No need for air? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34496452)

you would get asphyxiated, starved, frozen hornets. what fun

At last! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34496134)

Now that we know how to get power we can mount lasers on hornets!

Re:At last! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34496556)

All I ask for is frickin' hornets with frickin' laser beams mounted on their heads

Good news, everyone! Energy crisis solved! (4, Funny)

lennier (44736) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496158)

Soon every suburban house will have its own massive angry hornet array and all our problems will be over.

Waspinator (3, Funny)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496166)

Terrorize!

*gets modded down*
"Waspinator has a headache in his whole body!"

Can they be implanted yet? (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496288)

It's hot as hell here, I could use some solar-powered cells on my skin.

The Wasp is a Plant? (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496382)

If the wasp gets energy directly from the Sun, does that mean it is technically a plant? (See Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan [wikipedia.org] on Farscape.)

Re:The Wasp is a Plant? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496760)

No. What might have to happen is an adjustment to the classification system used, but they wouldn't be plants.

These would almost certainly still be some form of animal, they might end up being moved around, but in general plants don't relocate themselves at will in search of food.

Re:The Wasp is a Plant? (1)

jisatsusha (755173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496982)

They actively grow in the direction of and seek out sunlight. Does that not count?

Re:The Wasp is a Plant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34496860)

No more than a snake with legs is a lizard or an egg-laying mammal is a bird or reptile.

and why did I read about this on naked capitalism (1)

cats-paw (34890) | more than 3 years ago | (#34496610)

before it got to slashdot ?

that's just lame.

The question is . . . (1)

Masterofpsi (1643965) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497168)

Are any of them made of marble?

Obvious solution is obvious. (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497704)

To tell you the truth I wonder why doesn't every non-nocturnal anymal do this, it's sounds like something very obvious prone to evolve early in multicelular animals.

YAIFOP (1)

merikari (205531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497752)

I for one... oh f***, RUN!

What if they mate with sharks? (1)

peaceful_bill (661382) | more than 3 years ago | (#34497948)

I certainly don't appreciate the off-color and rancid humor bellowing around this thread like a plague.

While I understand the role of levity and humor when contemplating our armageddon, I think a moment of serious discussion is in order here, you slackers.


The real danger here, in my considered opinion, is what happens when the inevitable occurs? A solar powered hornet mates with a shark. I'm sure many of you don't see this, but let me paint the following highly likely scenario:

1. Beach. Picnic. Very little breeze, about noon. Watermelon, ice tea, and some sweets.
2. As the cloud drift overhead, and some gentle music plays, as the light dances on the water a solared powered hornet (SPH) glances towards the water
3. There, in the water, is a shark, flexing his shark muscles and doing shark stuff
4. The hornet, smitten, buzzes over to the shark and there is a long, deep look between the two.
5. After a lovemaking session worthy of any major blockbuster porn flick, they leave, never to see each other again.


Fast forward whatever the gestational period for hornets is and you've got the ULTIMATE NIGHTMARE SCENARIO.


Screw wikileaks, friends - this is the story of the century.

What we need! (1)

nablaoperator (1955686) | more than 3 years ago | (#34498004)

So, we have solar powered hornets? Now all we need: Sharks with lasers!
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