Despite its modest size, insects can be very dangerous. After all, they know how to assemble in packs, forming real hordes. If a single insect is usually not scary to a person, then a huge congestion forces everyone out of the way who wants to live further.
These simple beings, uniting in groups of thousands and millions of individuals, really represent a tremendous force, forcing the “king of nature” to feel helpless. The most famous and large-scale clusters of insects will be discussed below.
Invasion of crickets.
Those events became a kind of legend for Mormons. They have a legend about the truly biblical plague of crickets that happened back in 1848. And there was an invasion of these insects in the area of the Great Salt Lake. Just this year, Brigham Young brought the first Mormons to Utah. Winter was mild, and believers expected a rich harvest. But the abnormal heat meant that all spring and summer pests, whether insects or snakes, did not die from the winter cold. This led to starvation. In this situation, even large animals, such as puma, expand their habitats. Crickets of Mormons were large representatives of the superfamily grasshoppers. The length of the body of these creatures reached 7.5 centimeters, but he can not bite, being unpleasant only with his tweezers. These crickets also do not know how to fly, which makes their clumps really effective. In the southwest of the US, swarms of these crickets are common. But in 1848 they became so much more than ever. Mormons, in fact, were doomed to die of hunger, but “biblical” gulls unexpectedly came to their aid. California gulls also live in the area of the Great Salt Lake. After all, this pond is so large that it can provide the birds with food. The Mormons still have a legend, which is confirmed by diaries and newspapers. Depressed and exhausted by the invasion of crickets, believers could only pray to God. And at that moment a huge flock of seagulls descended from the sky, caused, undoubtedly, by requests for salvation, and ate all the insects.
Migration of crabs to Christmas Island.
The gathering of living things is not always a problem. This migration, for example, is considered a true miracle of nature. Every year in November, when the full moon comes, the red crabs from the Christmas Island migrate to the shore. Their goal – the laying of eggs, after which the marine inhabitants return to their habitual elements. The entire area of the island is about 135 square kilometers, while it is selected by different estimates from 43 to 100 million creatures. For those who are afraid of such an abundance of crabs that cover the island entirely, it is worthwhile to know that from here to the nearest Big Land there are as many as 430 kilometers. And do not consider these natural migrants so harmless. The length of the shell of an adult specimen of a red crab can reach 11 centimeters in length. The claws of such a crustacean can even cut through the skin of a person. During the mass migration of crabs it is impossible to walk along the shore so as not to step on them or that they do not crawl on a person. And from the side an unusual illusion is created, as if the island is bleeding. Crabs were lucky that the island government of Australia was declared a nature reserve. People are not allowed to migrate here during the migration. But recently the number of crabs on the island has decreased to 10-15 million individuals. The fault is brought to Christmas invasive “yellow crazy ants.”
Invasion of crickets in Oklahoma.
And this story happened in 2013. It was noted that in Oklahoma and some neighboring states, there appeared abnormally many ordinary black crickets. They are considered harmless, because they do not know how to sting or bite. Many people even specifically start crickets at home or use them as bait when fishing or as a pet food. Only like all other crickets, these feed on plant food.The invasion of such “harmless” insects becomes a real calamity for farmers. They spray a variety of pesticides in their fields to combat crickets. For science itself, a huge collection of insects is not a problem, but how to solve their killing by limiting access to food? After all, without food, crickets die pretty quickly, from the outside it looks like a real plague. For example, in the city of Norman all the same Oklahoma was 10 thousand dead of such insects. This seems to be a lot, but billions of crickets actually took part in the invasion. Buyers found them under their feet, on store shelves, in canopies. When people fled they accompanied the sound of cracking cookies. Experts note that crickets appeared in abnormal quantities in September 2012. It seemed that they all died out in the winter. But the summer of insects has become even greater. Most likely, the blame for this was a prolonged spring drought, which was replaced by heavy rains in June and July. Water softened the earth, and crickets became much easier to lay their eggs. Residents of Oklahoma were asked to turn off the outdoor light for the night, close the ventilation shafts and enter and exit the house as quickly as possible. The problem was even the sickening smell of a rotting pile of dead crickets.
Invasion of Asian giant hornet.
Asian giant hornets are a kind of legend on the Internet. They all read about them, they are afraid of them, but hardly anyone has seen in the eyes, except for the Japanese and the Chinese. But one should not be curious, because those who really encounter these terrible insects describe them only as a nightmare. By their nature, these hornets are not particularly aggressive. The Japanese subspecies, also known as the “sparrow bee”, is comparable in size to the hummingbird. After all, the length of the body of such hornets can reach four centimeters. And the outer part of the stinger protrudes six millimeters. The jaws of these hornets are very strong and large, especially to bite the bees off their heads. By this gift, bumblebees regularly and enjoy, feeding on the larvae of their relatives. As soon as a large animal invades the nesting area nearest to the nest, the reaction is comparable to what is present in most wasps, platens or hornets. Here only in the Asian species the bite is potentially dangerous even for those people who do not have an allergic reaction to the poison. This bite is also very painful. The victims say that in them they seem to have pummeled a nail in this place. Asian giant hornets are very mobile – they can fly at a speed of 40 km / h and overcome a day to 100 kilometers. And the secret of the poison of these insects is that it contains mandaratoxin. This is a very powerful substance that can literally dissolve the flesh in oneself. That leaves the stinger of a wound wound, the size of a hole from a bullet. Only in July-October 2013, only a swarm of these hornets killed 42 people in the Chinese province of Shaanxi. And in the other three cities, a total of 206 people were hospitalized. If the poison from the sting enters the body in large numbers, it will lead to renal failure. One unfortunate patient during the treatment required 200 joints and 13 dialysis procedures. Bees are killers or beekeepers.
In Africa, special bee-killers were formed. They were adapted to local conditions, ordinary honey bees. They look just like their European counterparts. But only those bites do not lead to the death of people who do not have allergies to poison. But the clash with the killer bees is akin to playing Russian roulette. After all, no special effort should be made to disturb these dangerous insects. If a person works with a lawn mower at a distance of fifty meters from the nest of ordinary bees, they simply will not pay attention to noise. But africanized insects will regard this as a threat. The reaction of bees will be natural – it is necessary to destroy the enemy.And if most people can escape from honey bees, bee-killers can fly at a speed of 19-24 km / h for several hundred meters. And although the poison of these natives of Africa is not more dangerous than that of European relatives, the danger lies in the mass bites and aggression of the attackers. Usually people try to hide from bees in the house, you just have to remember to close the windows. A clash with such hordes of bee-killers occurs much more often than you might imagine. Only in one prosperous North America, about 40 people die each year from the bites of the swarms of these insect killers. One of the last known stories occurred on June 3, 2013, when farmer Larry Goodwin from Texas, clearing bushes, drove a tractor into an abandoned chicken coop. From there flew a disturbed beehive into 40 thousand bees. The farmer tried to leave them on the tractor, but eventually jumped out of it, managed to reach the hose with water and already beat off the bees. So he gave time to his neighbors to have time to go into the house. One woman tried to help Goodwin, but returned, not even having time to reach him, after receiving a few dozen bites. Even firefighters could not get to Goodwin with their water cannons, being immediately attacked. As a result, the unfortunate was killed by furious bees. And the main difference between Africanized bees and their European counterparts is the number of defenders that rise into the air, if necessary, to protect their nest. In the usual case, only 10 percent of the inhabitants flee, but for African bees, this figure is much higher, which makes the swarm really terrible. And bees do not even think that without a sting they perish, as well as others gather. But the African variety is so aggressive that it can get under the protective clothing of a man, just for the sake of bite. No other kind of such anger is capable. Mosquitoes are bloodsuckers.
Many people are very afraid of vampires who can drink their blood. Meanwhile, next to us there are the real bloodsuckers – mosquitoes, just a little harm from them. But if these insects start swarming, then they represent a real danger. Mosquitoes do not sting like bees, defending themselves. But as soon as these bloodsuckers become large, a bite can already be felt. One individual is not so scary, except that she can not tolerate malaria or another such disease. Usually an attentive person will feel unpleasant and just brush off the bloodsucker. He just does not have time to drink much, not more than a drop of blood. But the whole swarm can cause much more problems. This is what happened in August-September 1980 on the Texas farm of Stephen Perry, near Brazoria. For 20 years, billions of mosquito eggs lay in the nearest swamps in a state of hibernation. But after the flooding of these territories with sea water, suitable for the emergence of a huge swarm environment. Billions of innocent larvae turned into billions of mosquitoes, which immediately attacked the cattle of the nearest farm. Perry’s horses and cattle began to perish everywhere. At the autopsy, the doctors did not find any damage to the internal organs, but only about half of the blood volume from the usual 26-34 liters was missing from each animal. The farmer himself said that he could flinch his hands several hundred mosquitoes at once. And these swarms came to the farm one by one for a whole month. Cluster of butterflies Danaida monarch.
Not all the accumulations of insects are so terrible and dangerous. When the monarch butterflies of Danaida gather in million-strong congestions, this spectacle is simply mesmerizing. Monarchs are the only species of butterflies in North America that migrate to the south like birds. That’s just such a long flight, these gentle beings can not stand it. Their journey of 4,000 kilometers in warm Mexico begins from Canada. On the way, females lay eggs. Butterflies die, and the born offspring continue the unfinished business of their parents.Nature has created butterflies such that they already know what they need to do. Almost all kinds of butterflies arrive for wintering in a place known in Mexico, like the Biosphere Reserve of Monarch butterflies, and also in Michoacan. This is an entire ecosystem, which consists of a forest with an area of 55 hectares. A lot of oaks and pines grow here. But butterflies gather only on a plot of 4.7 hectares. They sit on trees, branches, bark, earth and even each other, creating unusually beautiful fluffy orange bunches. And when all this swarm simultaneously takes off, then the noise of the wings is like the sound of rain.
This swarm turned out to be an isolated one, but managed to enter under a separate name into history. The fact is that this is the largest known cluster of animals of one species in the history of the planet. Only here the swarm was an extinct insect, the filly of the Rocky Mountains. The method of deep plowing used at that time caused the species to die out. And after 60 years, he also led to the emergence of a real dust storm called the Dusty Cauldron. And the swarm itself appeared in April 1875 in the west of Missouri. The cloud obscured the whole sky. Dr. Albert Chayody from Nebraska, on the basis of the reports of farmers, studied this swarm, its speed and time at the intersection of the southern part of the state. It turned out that the size of the cloud exceeded the area of all of California by 512 thousand square kilometers. He drove the whole swarm about 27.5 million tons. And some individuals in it were about 12.5 trillion. Like most other locust species, these insects could not bite, but at the sight of this swarm the cattle rushed into a stampede. Some animals even died from suffocation, after insects flew into their throats. And, of course, all this horde of horses were eating all that the leaves had on their way. But at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the species died out, as its habitual habitat was plowed. As a result, the eggs buried in the ground were destroyed.
Migration of nomadic ants.
It is not accidental that the strength of ants is in their number and organization. When the colony becomes inadequate food, it simply assembles and moves to a new location. And to other living beings, from insects to large animals and humans, there is nothing else than to free the path. Ants of the Dorylus species can even cross wide and fast rivers to swim across, they gather into balls. To get their food, these insects creep into trees, into the very crown. And the most surprising is that these ants do not have eyes, and they are guided by the terrain due to pheromones. Any creature that comes close enough to the colony can trigger an alarm from the ant guardian. As a result, the rest of the swarm will immediately come to the rescue, which sometimes just bury the abuser under him. Even large animals can suffer, which insects will simply clog the lungs. View Dorylus prefer not to sting their victims, but to bite their huge jaws. It is this part of them that the aborigines of Africa and South America use as surgical clips for sewing up wounds, without having at their disposal needles and threads. And there are such migrations of ants not very often, usually every five years. By the way, swarms gather almost all types of combat ants. But among them the most terrible are Dorylus. And in Brazil and its northern neighbors reside a different species, similar to the one mentioned. The nomadic ants of Etsiton Burchelli also travel from one place to another until they find a place rich in suitable food. During their travels, these insects form temporary camps, which are designed to protect the queen and the eggs. Ants create the most real living walls on trees and bushes. It is only someone to disturb this “fence”, as immediately followed by an enraged attack. It is interesting that these nomadic ants can cause pain with their bite, but the skin of a person can not be bitten yet, unlike a much stronger kind of Dorylus. But the Etsiton Burchelli can damage the mucous membranes and eyes of a person.There are about fifty known species of nomadic ants, but the most famous is still Dorylus molestus. And this view does not surprise anyone in the African villages, the aborigines are already accustomed to the fact that these ants kill and eat rats. Local residents are accustomed to allocate such insects a wide passage, because those on their way kill everything they can find. And although there is no documentary evidence of eating elephants, Africans claim to have seen it. In principle, one should not be surprised at this, given that these ants can bite the skin of an elephant.
Invasion of the tarantulas.
Spiders almost always live alone, which is understandable given their cannibalism. At a meeting, representatives of one species may well feast on their relatives. No spider will tolerate a competitor near its web. The same spiders that the net can not weave can not tolerate each other just around the corner. That is why the accumulation of tarantulas is a very unusual phenomenon. May 8, 2012 held in the Indian town of Sadia at the foot of the Himalayas the festival was thwarted by the massive invasion of spiders. Local residents said that hordes of medium-sized tarantulas descended from mountains and hills, flooding everything around them, climbing walls and people. In a panic, no one came to study the swarm’s behavior. They wrote that spiders were very aggressive, rushing and biting even people and animals. As a result, because of the invasion of tarantulas, two people died. But it’s fair to say that they still visited a doctor who squeezed out the poison. But when it did not help, they went to a serious hospital. So it is possible that the cause of death was an extraneous infection. This strange invasion swept as suddenly as it had appeared. A lot of arachnologists, intrigued by clusters of tarantulas, came to Sadia. But then they had to face a riddle. After several representatives of the mysterious species were caught, it turned out that he was unknown to science. Perhaps it was a hybrid that turned out to be evil and aggressive. These spiders outwardly resembled a funnel spider or Sydney leukopautin. That’s just the kind of absolutely exactly lives exclusively in Australia. Where did the new spider come from in India and why, from where did the invasion come, remains a mystery.