A giant wasp nest found in Spain takes up an entire floor of an empty home, leaving officials perplexed as how to get rid of the millions of stinging insects.
The nest is so large that officials think it will unseat New Zealand as the home of the largest recorded nest in history. The current Guinness World record holder was a giant wasp nest found on a farm near Auckland found in 1963, one that measured more than 12 feet long, 5 feet in diameter, and about 18 feet in circumference.
Though the New Zealand wasp nest was made of wood scrapings that the insects chewed up to create a paper mache material, it was so heavy that it came crashing out of a tree and split in two on the ground.
For as gigantic as that wasp nest was, the one found in Spain this week is believed to be even bigger. Experts think it was built by an African species of wasp that migrated close to 70 miles to the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. The types of wasp normally in that area of Spain tend to live in gardens, and don’t built nests anywhere near as large as the one found in the home.
Police were alerted to the giant wasp nest when neighbors living close to the abandoned house noticed sometime was wrong. When they investigated, they found the house overrun with wasps — likely numbering in the millions.
Another gigantic wasp nest was found a few years ago in a pub in Southampton, England. Though still quite large — it measured 6 feet 5 inches and was home to close to 500,000 wasps — that one still pales in comparison to the house-invading Spanish nest.
The typical wasp nest will contain between 4,000 and 5,000 wasps, experts say. Some of the larger colonies can number in the tens of thousands of wasps, though it is rare for the nests to grow much larger than that.
Officials said they blocked off the house in Tenerife, but still haven’t figured out how to deal with the giant wasp nest.