Family Discovers Something Strange Growing In Water Meter, The Internet Helps Them Identify It

The Internet is an unparalleled tool for enlightenment, whether used as a resource for finding new information or as a way to connect with people, the options are unlimited.

One Imgur user decided to ask for the Internet’s help after he found an incredibly off-putting sight when he opened his parent’s water meter.

A bizarre formation straight out of a science fiction film stumped the users, but eventually, an answer came through and revealed there was nothing to worry about.

Imgur user, Robbie1249, was at a loss when he saw the inside of his parent’s water meter box in Brisbane, Australia. To find out if he should be concerned or not, he uploaded a picture to the image sharing site to see if anyone else knew what was going on.

“Imgur, can you help? My parents opened their water meter box for the first time in ages, and found this inside,” Robbie1249 wrote. “We have no idea what it is. The box is probably 20x40cm. There were flies buzzing around but no other animals we can see. Kinda afraid to remove it until we know what it is.”

The post generated a surprising amount of curiosity, receiving over 200,000 views and 1,000 comments. Naturally, most of the comments weren’t very helpful and took advantage of the opportunity to make some alien-esque jokes.

However, a few users from the area who were familiar with the formation came forward with an explanation. “Thank you Omnirock, TexasRaised, and others,” Robbie1249 wrote. “Looks like it’s Tetragonula.”

Tetragonula hockingsi, which had occupied Robbie’s parents’ water meter, is a type of stingless bee found primarily in the Northern Territory and in northern Queensland, Australia.

The colonies of this type of bee can grow as large as having 10,000 workers with a single queen. The combs of the nest are crucial to the bees as they provide the “substrate on which workers live, food is stored and the brood is reared.”

It’s understandable why Robbie would be hesitant when he first caught a glimpse of this nest, especially when it seems like almost all insects in Australia can be deadly.

However, it turns out the residents of Robbie’s parents’ water meter box are the best case scenario when it comes to Australian insects as these bees can’t sting and are useless in defense.

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