Advertisement
Posted on: August 13, 2019 at 10:54 am

Las Vegas is no stranger to tourists, but lately it has been hosting visitors of a different kind. Swarms of grasshoppers have taken over large swathes of the city – so much so that they are being picked up on weather radars. 

Advertisement

An influx of grasshoppers of such epic proportions is reminiscent of the plague of Egypt. Specifically, the eighth plague, which consisted of a different (albeit related) winged insect: locusts.

To take this Biblical metaphor even further, experts say the magnet drawing these critters to Sin City is a 30-story resort styled as Las Vegas’ answer to the pyramids of ancient Egypt. The building’s “Luxor Sky Beam” – a giant spotlight The New York Times reports can be seen by Los Angeles’ air pilots – is attracting grasshoppers like moths to a flame. 

Advertisement

Another explanation could be the unusually wet weather Las Vegas has been having lately. It is not yet August, but already rainfall has exceeded the city’s average annual quota. This means plenty of green vegetation for the grasshoppers to gorge on during their yearly migration north.

The density of grasshoppers can be seen at ground level in videos posted online, but it can also be seen from above – there are so many grasshoppers in Las Vegas right now, it is messing with weather radars. According to CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar, one of what looked like two storms in the Vegas area was made of grasshopper swarms, not rainwater.

Advertisement

The clue that the “storm” to the city’s right wasn’t what it seemed, says Chinchar, was that it wasn’t moving in the way rain normally would.

The grasshopper situation might not make things particularly pleasant for Las Vegas residents right not but the insects are, at most, an irritant. Officials say there is no cause for alarm – they do not sting or bite or transmit disease. They are not harmful, which is good news because experts say they may hang around for a few weeks more.

Grasshoppers are not the only insects causing trouble for meteorologists of late. Earlier this year, swarms of flying ants were picked up on weather radars as rain.

Shared with permission from our friends at IFL Science.

Advertisement
IFL Science
Science News
We're here for the science - the funny side of science. Quotes, jokes, memes and anything your admin finds awesome and strange. If you take yourself seriously, you're on the wrong page. We're dedicated to bringing the amazing world of science straight to your newsfeed in an amusing and accessible way.

A Special Message From Our Founders


Use Superfoods as Medicine e-book

Over the past few years of working with health experts all over the world, there’s one major insight we’ve learned.

You don’t have to rely on expensive medications for the rest of your lives.

Most health problems can often be resolved with a good diet, exercise and a few powerful superfoods. In fact, we’ve gone through hundreds of scientific papers and ‘superfood’ claims and only selected the top 5% that are:

  • Backed by scientific research
  • Affordable
  • Simple to use

We then put this valuable information into the Superfood as Medicine Guide: a 100+ page guide on the 7 most powerful superfoods available, including:

  • Exact dosages for every health ailment
  • DIY recipes to create your own products
  • Simple recipes