Funnel of Love: Mosquitoes Looking for Mates Formed ‘Mosquito Tornadoes’ in Siberia

What's worse than a single mosquito? Mosquitoes that don't want to be single.
What's worse than a single mosquito? Mosquitoes that don't want to be single. / doug4537/iStock via Getty Images

Just when you thought the cicada hype had finally died down, an even more irksome insect has taken its place in the headlines: mosquitoes. Wondering what on Earth they’ve done this time?

It seems they’ve formed some tornadoes in Siberia.

As the New York Post reports, the Kamchatka Peninsula—a region of Siberia that juts out between the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea—recently played host to funnel clouds of swarming mosquitoes along its eastern coast.

“I left early this morning, and as you can see I ended up right in the thick of things,” Aleksei Ponomaryov, who captured the footage of the phenomenon, told local news outlet Kamchatka-Inform, via Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. “I can't say how high these pillars [of mosquitoes] were, it seemed like they rose up to the clouds.”

The pillars weren’t static—Ponomaryov witnessed the mosquitoes routinely disband and then cluster into new columns. According to entomologist Lyudmila Lobkova, the insects perform this terrifying ballet when they’re trying to secure a mate. “These are male mosquitoes swarming around one of several females in order to mate, there is nothing wrong about this phenomenon,” she explained to Kamchatka-Inform, via The Siberian Times.

Though the phenomenon might be normal—and locals endure it every year—it’s also possible that climate change is affecting its scope and frequency. “It got warmer than it usually does earlier in the year, and it has stayed abnormally hot in the region for months, which means a nice, long, warm season for mosquitoes to procreate,” NPR climate reporter Rebecca Hersher explained in a 2020 episode of the radio program Short Wave.

Siberia posted record-breaking temperatures last summer, and this year has continued the pattern of unseasonable heat. In short, brace yourself for more mosquito tornadoes in the future.

[h/t New York Post]