Motorists in Argentina were faced with a confrontational sight as they headed for what appeared to be a forming tornado – but on closer inspection it was actually something completely different.
Footage of a person driving on Route 74 between General Madariaga and Pinamar showed that the dark tornado-like formation was actually a huge swarm of mosquitoes.
“It’s getting bigger and bigger, I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” says the person filming, according to local media reports.
The video was shared online where it quickly went viral and generated appalling reactions from social media users.
The bizarre scenes came after an explosion of mosquitoes was recently recorded in the Buenos Aires region of Argentina after prolonged heavy rains.
“Heavy rains caused flooding and resulted in large pools of stagnant water where female mosquitoes lay their eggs,” Juan Jose Garcia, researcher at the Center for Parasitological and Vector Studies (CEPAVE), told the local media.
Mr Garcia said this could result in “large numbers” of insects being born at the same time, with populations so high that they “invade cities”.
While the idea of encountering a mosquito tornado face-to-face isn’t pleasant, Garcia said they pose little of a threat to humans.
However, he added that they could affect agricultural activities.
He said the swarm should disperse after 15 days, when many of the insects are likely to die.
Last year Australians were warned that parts of the country could experience a mosquito explosion due to the wet weather caused by La Nina.
The weather event generally means above-average rain for northern and eastern Australia in the second half of the year, which often spreads far inland.
All of this moisture can be great for farmers who irrigate the land. It can also make bush fires less likely.
However, mozzies also love moisture. They like nothing better than standing or still water like a pond, a swamp, or just a rain-filled flower pot in which to place their larvae.
“In the past, large outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases have been associated with widespread inland flooding. This flood is usually related to the prevailing conditions in La Nina, ”said Dr. Webb to The Conversation.
BOM records have shown that widespread flooding in the summer of 2010/2011 led to a boom in mosquito-borne diseases.