Nature trumps humanity once again as the oft-mocked shaggy hairdo sported by Republican presidential candidate Donald J Trump looks amusingly similar to a poisonous yellow-furred caterpillar from the Amazon rainforest.
While details on Trumps infamous coif are hard to come by (perhaps his barber is being audited), his dippity-do'd doppelganger from Peru is the comparatively well-known larva of the Flannel Moth. A species of the genus Megalopygidae, Flannel Moths can be found in the southern United States and tropical regions of the Americas.
According to conservation biologist Phil Torres, this particular species of Flannel Moth caterpillar is “really rare, I've seen this type of caterpillar before but never one of this color.” Torres, along with wildlife photographer Jeff Cremer, organize photography tours from the 30-bed Posada Amazonas rainforest lodge located near Puerto Maldonado, Peru.
The pair were leading a small group of tourists on one such tour when Torres spotted and snapped the caterpillar at rest on a leaf. “We put the picture on our Twitter and Facebook page,” adds Torres, “and immediately people started comparing it to Donald Trump.” Since then the image of the furry forest denizen (the caterpillar, not The Donald) paired with a photo of Trump in profile has been spreading virally.
One would hope that what call “the Harry Potter effect” doesn't take hold in this case, with Trump-lovers and Trump-haters alike buying yellow Flannel Moth caterpillars to keep as pets. Bad idea: those luxurious hairs flaunted by these caterpillars have sharp tips and can release a painful toxin when stroked by unsuspecting humans. Donald Trump's hair, on the other hand, is believed to be non-toxic... though you'd have to ask Jimmy Fallon to be sure. (via Nature World News, Trump photo via Michael Vadon)