A shocking video clip has caught the moment more than 100 hairy caterpillars have gathered end-to-end to travel across a dirt road in Australia. The road was newly graded, and the caterpillars were working as a team to navigate it. A passerby thought the formation was a shed snakeskin. But as they got closer, they saw it was moving and was a train of caterpillars. That’s when they snatched their phone from their pocket and started filming.
The caterpillars are of the bag-moth variety and were traveling the dirt road as a convoy.
The person could not believe what he was seeing. The train of caterpillars was several yards long from end to end and was crossing the dirt terrain as a unit. Strange.
The caterpillar train is moving slowly. The person who spotted the sight had been driving by when they saw it. Instead of driving over the convoy and killing some of the caterpillars, the person has decided to get out of their car and film the trek.
The caterpillar in the lead chooses the path. And the rest of them follow along without questioning his or her direction. And as they hold onto each other, they make slow but steady progress along the dirt road.
Because the driver decided not to trample them, the caterpillars make it safely across the road. That was a compassionate thing to do.
“I saw the train as I drove past and initially thought it was a shedded snakeskin,” the person who shot the video said. “I went back to check when I realized that it couldn’t be snakeskin because the road graders would have buried it. Whatever it was had come onto the road in the past 30 minutes or so after the graders went past.”
When the caterpillars finished crossing the road, the driver left. Because of that turn of events, we do not know how long the caterpillars remained latched onto each other.
Some viewers likened the caterpillar train to a funeral procession.
“Processionary caterpillars – very poisonous and can kill a small dog. You get them in Europe as well.”
Another European recognized the train.
“We have very similar in France, called processionary caterpillars, make nests in fir trees, very dangerous as they release hairs if disturbed, they can easily kill a dog or cat, and will give humans a really bad rash. We usually burn the nests. Allegedly only the lead one has eyes hence all the rest follow in long lines, and you can make them go round in a circle if you’re brave.”
Others wondered if the back-of-the-line caterpillars were jealous of the leader’s prime position.
“So who gets to be the lucky pick and be the first one in line? And what did the bad caterpillar do to get to be at the butt end of the line?”
One viewer imagined the conversations that must have been going on during that long trek across the Australian dirt path.
“The trailing caterpillars are all like ‘Are we there yet daddy,’ ‘Are we there yet,’ ‘Are we there yet,’ ‘when are we getting there,’ ‘I’m hungry,’ ‘I feel sick,’ and ‘Are we there yet daddy?’”