A 50-mile-wide swarm of flying ants has been making its way over the UK – and it’s so huge that it has been spotted from space.
The enormous cloud of insects was picked up by the Met Office’s weather radar over Kent and Sussex, on England’s southeast coast.
The weather service said smaller swarms could be seen over London.
A video was released by the Met Office, alongside a tweet saying: “It’s not raining in London, Kent or Sussex, but our radar says otherwise…
“The radar is actually picking up a swarm of #flyingants across the southeast.
“During the summer ants can take to the skies in a mass emergence usually on warm, humid and windless days #flyingantday’.”
A spokesman for the Met Office said there were likely to be “thousands” of ants within the swarm.
“It’s not unusual for larger swarms to be picked up,” he said.
“A similar thing happened almost exactly a year ago on ‘Flying Ant Day’.
“On days like today, when it is sunny, the radar detects the swam but we are able to see they are not the same shape as water droplets, and in fact look more insect-like.”
Large swarms of the insects appear – in what is widely known as “Flying Ant Day” – when males and new queens leave the nest to mate, with many ant colonies doing so on the same day.
The Royal Society of Biology points out there is not always one such day, with flying ants spotted on as many as 96% of the days between June and September.
Send your news and stories to us email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and WhatsApp: +447747873668.
Before you go...
Democratic norms are being stress-tested all over the world, and the past few years have thrown up all kinds of questions we didn't know needed clarifying – how long is too long for a parliamentary prorogation? How far should politicians be allowed to intervene in court cases? To monitor these issues as closely as we have in the past we need your support, so please consider donating to The Climax News Room.