One of the more unusual consequences of the coronavirus happened this week in Thailand, where the lack of tourists caused rival gangs of monkeys to begin a brutal war.
The Lopburi monkeys are a feature of the local Phra Prang Sam Yod Buddhist temple, where they are typically divided by train tracks. However, the monkeys’ reliance on tourists for food has been hit by COVID-19, forcing them to search further afield, and into a clash over a single banana. And as was to perhaps be expected, reactions to the story have caused Planet of the Apes to trend on Twitter.
Although the story involves monkeys, many people have been quick to note the fight as the first step in an ape apocalypse:
Who had "Monkeys use global pandemic to rise up and create Planet of the Apes" in their Apocalypse Pool? https://t.co/qQqcOuTHE8
— Tony Wirt (@Wirter) March 12, 2020
Which one is Caesar? This is how Planet of the Apes start, people.
Also, monkeys fight for food. Humans fight for toilet paper. We’re doomed. 🤪 https://t.co/a9WbgzGgfE
— Ming-Na Wen (@MingNa) March 12, 2020
Others were quick to throw in a classic meme from The Simpsons, whereby we should fall in line with the new order:
— Host of the 2020 Lunwi’s ً (@Lunwi88) March 12, 2020
In addition, some noted the chilling similarities between the viral outbreak in the rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise and what’s currently happening in the world:
— Ariel 🖤 (@Not_A_Mermaid) March 15, 2020
All worrying signs, then, and just another bizarre story in a week of them, as quarantine, cancellations, and delays are becoming the norm. In the last few days or so, we’ve seen major movie releases get pushed back, Disney parks shut down, Tom Hanks going into quarantine, and many more events that may have seemed like a (quite boring) disaster film only a few months ago.
If the Thailand monkey riots are anything to go by, it may take some time for the ecosystem of tourist hotspots to return to normal. Furthermore, monkey fights are not that unusual compared to the people fighting over toilet paper rolls and essential supplies around the world. In any case, we’re very much hoping that things can go back to normal soon and the Planet of the Apes-style apocalypse being predicted does not come to pass. For now, though, it’s probably best to stay indoors.