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Killer Insect ‘SOS Alert’ Hoax Warning

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Circulating ‘warning’ message claims that you should watch out for a ‘killer insect’ that, if touched, ‘spreads virus to the place of bodily contact and circulates the entire human system in minutes’. The warning features an image of the insect along with a picture of a human hand covered with holes in the skin supposedly caused by the virus. A second version with different images simply claims killing the insect with bare hands will infect you within a few minutes.

Brief Analysis

The claims in the messages are nonsense. The holes shown on the hands in the photographs are not the result of a virus caught via touching an insect but rather just special effects created using makeup artist moulding putty. And the pictured insect is just a Giant Waterbug. These insects certainly do not transmit a deadly virus if touched.

Examples

New Killer Insect (See Photo)
If you ever see this Insect, please don’t try to kill it with your bare hands or touch it, this insect spreads virus to the place of bodily contact and circulates the entire human system in minutes, it was first sighted in India.Be kind enough to forward this information to friends and families, do remember to educate the children never to kill an insect with bare hands or allow its secretion to touch their body.
This is an SOS Alert!!!!Killer Insect Warning Hoax

 

Fake Killer Insect Alert

 

Detailed Analysis

According to a rather breathless ‘warning’ message that is currently circulating the interwebs at speed, you should watch out for a ‘killer insect’ that, if touched, ‘spreads virus to the place of bodily contact and circulates the entire human system in minutes’. The warning features an image of the insect along with a picture of a human hand that has supposedly been infected by the virus.  The depicted hand and fingers are covered with what look like deep, diseased looking holes in the skin supposedly caused by the virus. And, the back of the insect appears to harbour structures similar to the hand holes.
The ‘SOS Alert’ message asks that you forward the information to your family and friends so that they will be aware of the dangers of touching the insects.

A second version of the message that features different images of the insect and a human arm simply claims that killing the “new killer insect” with bare hands will infect you in just a few minutes.

However, the claims in the supposed warning messages are utter nonsense. The holes on the depicted hand are not the result of a virus caught via touching an insect but rather just clever special effects created using makeup artist moulding putty and some other common substances. The following YouTube video shows how such hand and arm holes are created:

The insect shown in the photo is a Giant Waterbug. In some species of waterbugs, the females lay their eggs on the backs of male insects. The males then protect the eggs until they hatch. The shapes on the back of the insect in the pictures are thus just eggs. Waterbugs can reportedly nip fingers or toes but they are certainly not killer insects that can transmit a deadly virus if touched.

Killer Insect Warning Hoax


Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer