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Why do Mosquitoes buzz in people’s ears?

by Hari M


Why do mosquitoes buzz in people’s ears?

We all know and hear mosquitoes making buzzing sounds. This sound is made by them when they flutter their wings very fast, as fast as 250 times per second. This high frequency movement of wings creates a buzzing sound. Scientists also found, in the case of some mosquitoes, like the Aedes aegypti, that the sounds are made by both the genders during mating.

It is scientifically proven that mosquitoes make sounds when they move their wings very fast, which they seem to do often. We hear the sounds only when it reaches our ears during its flight. The reason why a mosquito makes a buzzing sound in people’s ears cannot be determined clearly and exactly. Some people say that they reach our ears as there is a considerable amount of heat coming from our ears that attracts the mosquito. A mosquito is one of the cold blooded animals, and hence, will be looking for warm blood to prey upon.

Though there is no exact reason to explain the buzzing act of mosquitoes near people’s ears, West Africans tell about some folk tales as reasons for the mosquito’s buzz. There are two tales that are told by the African people. One of them goes like this:

Long ago, Ear was a beautiful woman, and she was looking for bridegroom so that she can get married. She was approached by big and small creatures. All kinds of creatures expressed their love towards her. The mosquito was also interested in asking for her hand, but Ear refused to entertain the mosquito, and spoke sarcastically that the mosquito is weak and will die within a week. So the mosquito was hurt by her comments. From that day onwards the mosquito goes to the ear and says that it has not died, but is still alive.

The other story goes like this:

Once, a mosquito tells a story to a lizard about the farmer digging yams. The lizard was shocked at the long story told to her and had put some sticks into her ears to avoid listening to the story. Due to its bad mood, the lizard did not notice her friend Python. Python was hurt and went to the Rabbit’s cave by mistake. Rabbit got scared and ran from the snake out of fear. A crow sees the rabbit running in the forest and thinks that something dangerous is going to happen, and it screams. The monkey hears the crow screaming and by mistake makes the dead limb from the tree branches fall on an owl, which dies. The mother owl, knowing that the baby owl is dead, droops into sorrow and refuses to call Sun to come out in that morning. The root cause for this problem was investigated by the Lion, and they all found out that the mosquito was responsible for all this. Later, the problem was properly solved by the Lion, but the mosquito feels guilty of being the cause of a big problem. Hence, it always reaches everyone’s ears to ask whether they are still angry.

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