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Why can mosquitoes fly in the rain?

Question by Ladybird | 17/05/2012 at 19:12

Again and again, I am amazed at how mosquitoes manages it to fly even in the rain. Normally, I think, they would be hit by a raindrop and fall down. At least, they should get to safety during rain, so that this will not happen. Have mosquitoes a trick or just luck?



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You should not imagine the world of mosquitoes like the world is for us. Imagine, you were a fly and imagine then how big a drop of rain would be in its perspective! If a car or another vehicle (so great is a raindrop for the mosquitoes) comes around, we will also have enough time to avoid a crash calmly.
19/05/2012 at 22:54

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A little bit more physics we need for the explanation. If a drop of rain comes down, it pushes a shock wave in front of it. This pressure wave ensures that the mosquito is pushed away to the side, as the mosquito is simply too lightweight.

If we take the example of the car again, it would be as if a balloon collided with a car. The balloon will not even be destroyed of this collision. Instead, the balloon, as well as the mosquito, will be pushed to the side. Only if the car or the raindrops pushes the balloon or the mosquito against a barrier, the balloon would burst or the mosquito would die.

So, in other words, the best thing, the mosquito can do, is to stay in the air. On the ground, it would be far more dangerous to come together with a raindrop.
22/05/2012 at 18:52

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Short addition: That's also the reason why fly swatters have holes. If they had no holes, the mosquitoes would simply slide to one side of it and it would be even more difficult to catch them. The holes allow, however, that the air can escape through the holes and with this the mentioned pressure wave is not too large to push the mosquito or the fly away.
27/06/2012 at 21:28

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