Lanternfly You Killed Actually Scientist Curing World Hunger

Graphic by Olivia Ruble

Remember that spotted lanternfly you squashed the other day? You were walking to class, and you saw it sitting on the ground, and you thought, “Why not?” And then it took off into the air a millisecond before your shoe landed, so you had to search for it again, and then it flew away from you A SECOND TIME when you tried to step on it, so you tried to kind of shuffle over to employ the element of surprise, and you were probably running late to class at this point, but dammit, you were going to kill that bug, so you lifted your foot into the air and brought it down a third time, noticing, once you stepped away, that you had succeeded—that your quest was finally over, that you had won. Remember how good it felt to know that you, by exterminating that lanternfly, had helped to make our city a little better?

Well guess what: that lanternfly was actually the lead researcher on a team working to solve world hunger. That’s right: solve world hunger.  And that team had been close—until YOU killed their leader. Bet you regret congratulating yourself for stepping on her now, right?

You squashed her before she had the chance to save millions of lives. Well, millions of lanternfly lives. Did I say “solve world hunger” earlier? I meant lanternfly world hunger. She was working to solve lanternfly world hunger. Actually, maybe it’s a good thing you squashed her.