THE CRAYFISH APOCALYPSE


This post started out as a fun little science post. A new species of crayfish has emerged. Emerged as in it started with one mutant crayfish in a pet store in Germany in the 1990s. It’s called the marmorkrebs or marbled crayfish. How does one mutant crayfish start a whole new species? This crayfish was unique. It was female … and it didn’t need a male to reproduce. So every three months it can lay 200-300 fertile eggs. 

Cool, eh? A boon for those who love to eat crayfish? One might think so, but one would be wrong. We dodged the hairspray apocalypse, Y2K was averted, we are working to prevent global warming … but we won’t dodge this one. The marbled crayfish has already spread to dozens of countries and multiple continents.  I did the math, anyone can. Even with optimistic numbers the results are frightening. I calculate that in just 4.3 years all biomass on Earth will have been converted to marbled crayfish. The crayfish apocalypse is upon us.

The first few years won’t be too bad. Crayfish BBQs will become common. Crayfish cookbooks will become a staple in every kitchen. The crayfish diet will no doubt become a fad. SNL crayfish skits will entertain millions. And of course our millennials will no doubt come up with a crayfish challenge. Some will be sounding the alarm, but the crayfish truthers will be ignored as we ignore other truthers.

Year three it will start to get scary. There will be a huge market for crayfish protection gear. Going near open bodies of water will be dangerous, swimming in them suicidal. The occasional gruesome toilet death because of a poorly fitted crayfish extrusion screen. There will be no more SNL skits. The crayfish report will become a staple on the nightly news. They will have spread to every country in the world by then. Social order will be starting to break down.

Year four will see the full horror unleashed. Huge packs of roving crayfish will make going outdoors unarmored suicidal. Most other animal species will be extinct. Farming of any type will be impossible, human survivors will be concentrated in ever shrinking walled enclaves. Shrinking because crayfish are burrowing animals, and even the strongest walls and fences will eventually succumb to hordes of crayfish. 

The fifth year will be our last year on Earth. The seas, lakes, and rivers will be seething masses of crayfish. The land's surface will be covered by a layer of crayfish 12 to 18 inches deep. Going outside will be impossible, even the strongest armored suit will eventually succumb to millions of chitinous pincers. A few groups of survivors will huddle atop skyscrapers, awaiting the end as one by one, their foundations are undermined and even the greatest buildings topple. Our rein on Earth will be over, with just the sound of trillions  of scrabbling legs and clicking claws to mark our passing.

Will this be the end of humanity? On Earth, yes. The powers that be know this is coming. They are suppressing the news to avoid panic so that the rich and powerful can make their escape. Enclaves for the rich will be established on the Moon and Mars. Soon all the amenities they need will be transported into space. It’s already started. Did you really think Elon Musk spent 60 million dollars launching his car into space as a publicity stunt?

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