The end is clearly near, as the East Coast is likely due for an invasion of the "flying" Joro spiders this summer. It's been a good ride folks.

The 2020s clearly have not had enough fun, as the latest scourge on humanity appears to be an invasion of giant parachuting Joro spiders along the East Coast.

Yes, you heard us correctly: Pandemics, wars, gas prices and a host of other problems weren’t enough. Now mother nature is having a little fun with 3-inch long Joro spiders.

Our “friends” (we’re beginning to wonder if that’s true anymore) at the University of Georgia let us in on the horrifying news of a likely invasion that it’s too late for us to really do anything about.

“People should try to learn to live with them,” Andy Davis, a researcher with the University of Georgia said. “If they’re literally in your way, I can see taking a web down and moving them to the side, but they’re just going to be back next year.”

The Joro spider is unique in that it creates massive silk webs that get picked up by wind and serve as parachutes that fly them long distances. So why is it we are preparing for our new bright yellow, blue-black and red spider overlords? UGA scientists say the critters have been all over since at least 2013, but that they expect a spread to the full Eastern Seaboard before long – probably as soon as this summer.

Researchers say that the Joro, which come from Japan and are related to the golden silk spider, have a really, really high metabolism and are much stronger than their cousins. That means they can survive colder temperatures and brief freezes. That means we’re likely to see them all along our area before too long.

“Just by looking at that, it looks like the Joros could probably survive throughout most of the Eastern Seaboard here, which is pretty sobering,” Davis said.

The good news is our new overlords appear to be pretty friendly. Maybe. While scary (very, very scary), UGA says there is no reason to panic. They apparently won’t bite unless they are cornered and their fangs are USUALLY too small to break human skin.

“There’s really no reason to go around actively squishing them,” Benjamin Frick, a co-author of the study, said. “Humans are at the root of their invasion. Don’t blame the Joro spider.”

We agree with Frick. No reason to squish the Joro spiders. Just welcome our new leaders and hope they have a good handle on foreign policy and pandemics.

Cheer Up: What's the Happiest City in North Carolina?

  • No. 27 - Raleigh

    Raleigh comes out as the happiest city in North Carolina, largely thanks to a rank of No. 23 in Emotional & Physical Well Being.

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 23
    • Income & Employment: 71
    • Community & Environment: 63
    • Total Score: 62.35

  • No. 67 - Charlotte

    It’s a big jump down to the second happiest city in North Carolina. The Queen City had even marks in the three big categories, with ranks of 61-78-68.

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 61
    • Income & Employment: 78
    • Community & Environment: 68
    • Total Score: 57.61

  • No. 74 - Durham

    Durham got a big boost ranking No. 54 in Emotional & Physical Well Being. But the rank of No. 123 in Community & Environment hurt it overall.

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 54
    • Income & Employment: 69
    • Community & Environment: 123
    • Total Score: 56.92

  • No. 129 - Winston-Salem

    A huge leap down from Durham finds Winston-Salem, which was hurt largely by a rank of No. 138 in Emotional & Physical Well Being.

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 138
    • Income & Employment: 94
    • Community & Environment: 97
    • Total Score: 49.43

  • No. 137 - Greensboro

    Greensboro got a fairly decent boost thanks to a rank of No. 70 in Income & Employment.

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 129
    • Income & Employment: 70
    • Community & Environment: 167
    • Total Score: 48.12

  • No. 168 - Fayetteville

    It’s not that things are all unhappy around Fayetteville, it’s just that we didn’t exactly score well in a lot of the key factors for this study. Fayetteville does rank as the least happy of the major North Carolina cities in the study. Just behind Fayetteville overall is Jackson, Mississippi and Birmingham, Alabama.

    Fayetteville also took a hit, coming in at No. 181 on Lowest Income Growth and No. 180 on Most Work Hours.

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 161
    • Income & Employment: 155
    • Community & Environment: 171
    • Total Score: 40.83

  • No. 1 overall - Fremont, California

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 1
    • Income & Employment: 46
    • Community & Environment: 2
    • Total Score: 77.13

  • No. 2 - Columbia, Maryland

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 3
    • Income & Employment: 161
    • Community & Environment: 5
    • Total Score: 71.64

  • No. 3 - San Francisco, California

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 4
    • Income & Employment: 1
    • Community & Environment: 44
    • Total Score: 71.15

  • No. 4 - San Jose, California

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 2
    • Income & Employment: 6
    • Community & Environment: 55
    • Total Score: 71.00

  • No. 5 - Irvine, California

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 5
    • Income & Employment: 16
    • Community & Environment: 12
    • Total Score: 70.38

  • No. 6 - Madison, Wisconsin

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 10
    • Income & Employment: 11
    • Community & Environment: 19
    • Total Score: 68.10

  • No. 7 - Seattle, Washington

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 6
    • Income & Employment: 2
    • Community & Environment: 99
    • Total Score: 67.67

  • No. 8 - Overland Park, Kansas

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 12
    • Income & Employment: 54
    • Community & Environment: 13
    • Total Score: 67.46

  • No. 9 - Huntington Beach, California

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 9
    • Income & Employment: 51
    • Community & Environment: 43
    • Total Score: 66.43

  • No. 10 - San Diego, California

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 14
    • Income & Employment: 18
    • Community & Environment: 25
    • Total Score: 65.82

    What about at the bottom of the list?

  • No. 178 - Montgomery, Alabama

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 174
    • Income & Employment: 180
    • Community & Environment: 161
    • Total Score: 35.54

  • No. 179 - Huntington, West Virginia

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 182
    • Income & Employment: 39
    • Community & Environment: 141
    • Total Score: 35.53

  • No. 180 - Memphis, Tennessee

    Happiest city North Carolina

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 176
    • Income & Employment: 181
    • Community & Environment: 172
    • Total Score: 34.86

  • No. 181 - Gulfport, Mississippi

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 181
    • Income & Employment: 153
    • Community & Environment: 151
    • Total Score: 34.71

  • No. 182 - Detroit, Michigan

    • Emotional & Physical Well Being: 179
    • Income & Employment: 179
    • Community & Environment: 177
    • Total Score: 32.31

 

Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.