Flying in the face of it all

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post dated Thursday, 14 February 2008.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • The housefly hums in the middle octave, key of F.
  • After eating, a housefly regurgitates its food and then eats it again.
  • A common housefly processes visual information 10 times faster than humans.
  • The compound eye of a housefly has more than 4,000 lenses.
  • A housefly can transport germs as far as 24 km away from the original source of contamination.
  • The entire life of a housefly is spent within one or two hundred metres of the area where it was born.
  • The average airspeed of the common housefly is 7.2 kph.
  • A housefly beats its wings about 20,000 times per minute.
  • The buzzing of flies is the sound produced by their wings moving up and down at a rapid rate and is not produced internally by their bodies.
  • A common housefly is faster -in one sense- than a jet airplane. The fly moves 300 times its body length in one second, whereas the jet, at the speed of sound, travels 100 times its body length in one second.
  • Contrary to the popular myth, flies do exist in Alaska. In fact, there are almost no worms in Alaska, and the flies fill that ecological niche - birds of many species feed on flies and maggots. Fish even eat the maggots from rotting salmon in the streams.
  • Flies prefer to breed in the centre of a room, which is why experts advise placing flypaper away from the corners of the room.
  • It is because of the sticky pads and hairs on the legs of a fly that the fly is such a carrier of germs.
  • A fly can react to something it sees and change direction in 30 milliseconds.
  • A fly stuck in a spider web can escape in about five seconds if the spider does not get to it first.
  • Assuming that all the offspring survived, 190 quintillion (190,000,000,000,000,000,000) flies could be produced in four months by the offspring of a single pair of flies.
  • Prior to a fly landing on the ceiling, it flies right side up. Prior to impact, the fly extends its forward legs over its head, makes contact, and uses the momentum it has gathered in flight to hoist the remainder of its body to the ceiling, thus proving to be a bit of an acrobat. Once the fly has all six feet on the ceiling, it walks across the ceiling, securing itself by the sticky pads found under its two claws attached to each of its feet.
  • The coffin fly maintains itself for many generations in human bodies buried in coffins.
  • Petroleum flies feed on other flies that get trapped in pools of crude petroleum.
  • A female bot fly lays her eggs on the proboscis of a mosquito; when the mosquito bites a human, the bot fly larvae emerge from their eggs and crawl under the human's skin through the mosquito bite or by boring into the flesh.
  • A greenfly born on a Tuesday can be a grandparent by Friday.
  • Mayflies, after hatching and then spending one to three years developing as naiads, live less than one day as adults. During this one day, they mate and lay eggs in water.

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