I think mosquitos are absolutely horrible. You could almost say they're worse than bees, honestly. Just think about it: How many times have you been bitten by a mosquito, versus being stung by a bee? Chances are, the former far outweighs the latter. These blood-sucking monsters seem to possess the demonic ability to track down any form of human life and attack it with their needle-like noses, over and over. Even bug spray sometimes wasn't enough to stop their evil forces in this 1995 thriller movie, but I suppose it's better to try and fail than to simply surrender to their itchy vengeance.
On the flip side, though, being bitten by a mosquito used to be a far more serious (and sometimes grave) occurrence than it is now. Back in 1897, British doctor Sir Ronald Ross make the groundbreaking discovery that female mosquitoes can transmit malaria between humans. Ever since then, doctors from across the world have been able to develop vaccines to help prevent the spread of this horrible disease that targets red blood cells in the body, particular through mosquito bites. Although the disease hasn't been completely eradicated, the number of cases decreased significantly over the last century and led to additional scientific discoveries that changed the face of medicine as we know it.
In honor of Sir Ronald Ross, August 20 has been celebrated as World Mosquito Day after his historic discovery was made many moons ago. In the years since, though, scientists have struggled to determine what (if anything) would happen if mosquitos went extinct. Some argue that it would completely disrupt the ecological lifecycle for dozens of species and lead to things far worse than we could expect. Others claim that mosquitos becoming extinct would cause minimal impact to life as we know it today. As the Tootsie Pop Owl says, "The world may never know."
I know you're probably itching to learn more about mosquitos, so here are some fun facts about these pesky little flying creatures:
» As of today, scientists are aware of approximately 2700 species of mosquito. There are 176 known species in the United States alone.
»Mosquitoes fly an estimated 1 to 1.5 miles per hour.
»Female mosquitos are the ones to blame for those itchy red bites on your arm. They need a blood meal before they can lay eggs, while male mosquitos stick with eating plants.
»Physically active or fidgety people tend to produce more carbon dioxide and lactic acid, which attracts mosquitos to their blood.