Shocking Mosquito Facts That Will Raise Hairs On Your Skin
Don't you just love the summer? The sun is beaming on our sun-starved faces, the days are longer, and people seem happier. However, there is one significant trade-off to contend with, and it isn't pesky wasps or sweaty commutes into work. It's those darn mosquitos.
These blood-sucking insects aren't as vampiric as the media would have you believe, but many species like nothing more than to feast on our blood and leave us scratching our skin for days on end. In some areas of the world, their bites can lead to a major bout of illness, and in many cases, death.
After all, mosquitos carry various viruses, and after reading up on them, it seems there is still a lot we don't know about Earth's deadliest creature, so below are twelve facts about mosquitos that will probably make you even more scared of them than you already are.
1. Nearly 1m people die each year from mosquito bites
Mosquitos are one of the most dangerous species alive due to the sheer volume of people that die from their bites each year. In fact, some 725,000 people a year are thought to die from the diseases mosquitos carry, which range from malaria, zika and dengue to yellow fever, filariasis, tularemia.
2. The word 'mosquito' is actually a Spanish word
Male mosquitos belong to the family Culicidae while females of most species (for which there are over 3,000) are ectoparasites, whose tube-like mouthparts penetrate the victim's skin to consume blood, a practice which lends itself to the word "mosquito" which is Spanish for "little fly". Interestingly, to locate their next meal, they use a special organ called a maxillary palp which helps them track the smell of CO2 released from our breath.
Research has shown that they may also have a liking for beer drinkers. How scary is that?!
3. Mosquito bites are responsible for millions of people falling ill
While it might be little surprise to know that mosquitos are responsible for almost three-quarters of a million deaths each year, a staggering 700 million people are thought to be affected by them in different ways, from fatigue, headache, back and body aches, vomiting and nausea to victims complaining of a stiff neck. If untreated, this can manifest itself pretty quickly and even cause death.
4. Mosquitos are (probably) older than your grandparents
Baring Antarctica, mosquitos are found across the world, though are omnipresent in Africa and parts of South-East Asia and have been around for as long as the Triassic Period! This makes mosquitos as old as Dinosaurs, something producers working on the Jurassic Park film picked up on, as they used blood found in fossilised mosquitoes to clone the rip-roaring creatures that filled the park.
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