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Radar mystery turns out to be insect swarm

Posted on Wednesday, 4 June, 2014 | Comment icon 11 comments

A grasshopper camouflaged in the grass. Image Credit: Stephen Friedt

Meteorologists in Albuquerque were left perplexed when several mysterious hits showed up on their radar.

When weather experts first discovered the strange contacts on their equipment they initially believed there to be a malfunction, yet further investigation soon revealed that what was being picked up was in fact something very real indeed.

According to the National Weather Service, a vast swarm of grasshoppers has been present over Albuquerque's West Mesa for at least four nights in a row.

It is believed that the drier winter coupled with last year's monsoon season has provided the perfect environment for the insects to hatch.

The swarm is also thought to have been carried up to 1,000ft in the air due to strong winds.

Source: Huffington Post | Comments (11)

Tags: Insect, Swarm, Albuquerque, Grasshoppers

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by PlanB on 2 June, 2014, 21:38
This is probably why the interstate sales of grasshoppers are prohibited. The things you find out when you have pet reptiles.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Sundew on 4 June, 2014, 10:03
There are some tropical roaches that you can use, though grasshoppers would be a lot less objectionable to the average person, myself included. Most people just buy crickets and mealworms, depending on the reptile. We have lubber grasshoppers locally, get about 4-5" long, heavily bodied and don't fly, but they feed on toxic plants like Crinum lilies and not much bothers them.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Silent Trinity on 4 June, 2014, 10:18
The power of nature yet again produces wondrous moments. Fortunately here in England the biggest 'bugs' we have to worry about are Bumble Bees and 'Daddy Long Legs' lol, a few others too but that is about it.
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer on 4 June, 2014, 12:03
Here come the Locusts! Next plague.
Comment icon #6 Posted by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR: on 4 June, 2014, 12:36
I'm kind of curious on how big an object has to be for radar to pick up? Sounds like these swarms had to be huge and dense.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Yes_Man on 4 June, 2014, 12:40
and cockroaches and stag Beetles
Comment icon #8 Posted by mickeymudge on 5 June, 2014, 0:07
Well I guess we learned that insects aren't invisible to radar. Who knew?
Comment icon #9 Posted by mickeymudge on 5 June, 2014, 0:10
Well a swarm can be pretty large right? It's the same thing when we have multiple fighters from, lets say Russia, coming into our air space, but they are flying very close together. The radar sees them as ONE blip.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Rei4ever on 4 August, 2014, 15:15
So this leads to flight mh370 flight?!?
Comment icon #11 Posted by Yes_Man on 26 August, 2014, 19:36

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