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VIDEO: Swede films 'alien' insect tornado

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VIDEO: Swede films 'alien' insect tornado
Photo: Private
16:25 CEST+02:00
A Swedish woman caught a wildlife phenomenon on camera that was so unusual the footage has baffled experts, and made the Swede question if she was in a sci-fi film.

It was an ordinary Sunday night in front of the TV for Monika Rösch and her son, at home in Sollentuna, north of Stockholm.

That is, until her son noticed tornadoes of insects shooting up into the sky. 

"He yelled to me: ‘Come and look, come and look’ and I went to the window," she told The Local. 

"We realized that they were insects, but the longer we looked, the more we saw. I’d never seen anything like it."

"We weren’t scared; more surprised. It looked like something from outer space. We’re both big sci-fi fans, and it felt like we were in a real-life sci-fi film."

Rösch switched on her camera and recorded the phenomenon from the safety of her home. "We didn’t want to risk going outside, they could have been dangerous," she added. 

The footage shows three tornado-like swarms of small insects, shooting up into the sky. And the video has started to make the rounds on Swedish news sites - leaving experts baffled. 

One mosquito expert, Yngve Brodin from Sweden’s Natural History Museum, told SVT that he was convinced the insects weren’t mosquitoes. He added that they were likely lake flies, also known as nonbiting midgets (or chironomidae if you want to get specific). 

One is pictured below.

Photo: Parent Géry/WikiCommons

He said he’d never seen anything like it, adding that the peculiar behaviour may have been a mating ritual. 

Another expert said that in Eastern Africa, people pound the insects into a mix and eat them like steaks. The concept wasn’t an appetising one for Monika Rösch.

"The idea of eating them didn’t cross my mind, and, to be honest, it’s not something I’d try if I were to see them again," she told The Local. 

"I’m quite happy to watch from inside."

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Rene Falquier - 17 May 2018 10:16
Could these flies be getting caught in some sort of dust devil or thermal like convective structure? With how hot it has been, combined with how relatively little base wind we have had, such organized looking convective phenomena are not uncommon in the flatlands around sollentuna. Hopefully they didn't run into any gliders up there!
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