“I drove through the cloud of these mosquitoes for several hundred metres,” says Ust-Kamchatsk’s Alexei of the unnerving phenomenon.
‘It wasn’t a pleasant experience,” he continues. “I could hardly see the road. I didn’t dare open my windows…”
Alexei was one of the thousands of Russians who bore witness to untold millions of mosquitoes over the weekend. Mass swarms of the blood-sucking insects gathered in “thick, fast-moving pillars made up of millions of insects,” the Daily Mail UK reports. These tornado-like columns grew so thick, in fact, that they began blotting out sunlight to a greater degree than the clouds above. And it’s all been captured in startling footage.
Watch below as the mosquitoes gather on Kamchatka’s eastern coast.
“From a distance, pictures from the region appeared to show a cluster of tornadoes swirling dust and dirt into the air. But when filmed from within the clouds, the footage showed that the tornadoes are actually made up of millions of the unwelcome insects.”Daily Mail UK
The footage above was taken from the dashcam of a Russian driver’s car. The driver’s front-row look shows the swarms as they blacken the sky in a rare display. It’s a true, plague-level infestation of mosquitoes.
Yet the country’s experts and entomologists are saying not to worry over the swarming too much. The somewhat horrifying display is a mating phenomenon, Kamchatka Inform cites. Within, male mosquitoes swarm around females to mate. When mass amounts of mosquitoes are present, thousands can swarm just a few females at a time.
“These are male mosquitoes swarming around one of several females in order to mate – there is nothing wrong with this,” Daily Mail quotes of entomologist Lyudmila Lobkova. “The swarming males mosquitoes ‘do not attack humans.”
Blood-Sucking Horror: ‘Giant pillars of mosquitoes were visible everywhere I looked’
It is curious, then, that a similar incident in the United States resulted in the deaths of hundreds of livestock. In Louisiana, mass swarms of mosquitoes took hold after Hurricane Laura wreaked havoc in 2020.
Louisiana farmers reported at least 300, perhaps closer to 400 livestock deaths resulting from the insects “sucking their blood until they collapsed.” Most of the victims were cattle.
Both Louisiana and Kamchatka locals have seen such swarms before. But in 2020 and now in 2021 – they’re far worse. To make it even more troubling, repellents reportedly do not deter these mosquitoes.
“Giant pillars of mosquitoes were visible everywhere I looked,” local citizen Alexei continues, repellent or not. “I could see some of them breaking apart only to get back together into a new tornado.”
“These columns of mosquitoes looked like they touched the clouds…” he continues, still baffled.
Once the mosquitoes mate, the swarms should begin to die off and dissipate. Here’s to hoping that happens sooner rather than later for the locals!