In America, football fans can get pretty rowdy, especially on Superbowl Sunday. However, soccer fans in Europe and South America make American football fans look tame by comparison. The game of soccer, or football, as it is referred to in non-American countries, is taken very seriously by a surprising amount of people. During soccer matches, fans have little tolerance for interruptions, but fans were not complaining after a swarm of wasps attacked both players and fans at a recent match in South America.
A recent soccer match between two Brazilian teams, Altos and Nacional-AM in Brazil’s Serie D, saw an angry swarm of wasps attacking players and fans. The game stopped for a period of six minutes during which fans and players ran for cover in order to avoid being stung. The wasp swarm was comprised of a rare wasp species that the locals call “Marimbondos”. These wasps are only found in Brazil and they feed primarily on spiders, so you can imagine how large and frightening the wasps seemed to the people in attendance. The wasps descended upon the fans and the players on the field twenty six minutes into the game. A referee recorded the strange occurrence in his notebook.
Although the wasps were menacing looking, extremely large and are known for dealing painful stings, this particular wasp species only attacks humans in defense, and they left the stadium in a matter of minutes. Luckily, the game continued with no further problems. Surprisingly, insects interrupt sporting events more often than you would probably assume. For example, back in 2007 a swarm of midges attacked Joba Chamberlain of the New York Yankees. This insect attack occurred during a division-series game in Cleveland. The midges are common in Cleveland, and they likely originated from nearby Lake Erie. The Yankees were winning at the time of the midge attack, but they ended up losing the game, and Yankees fans still blame midges for the loss even today.
Have you ever been attacked by stinging insects while participating in a group sport?