Science Quantifies Why Flies Are So Annoying To Swat

Posted by on May 3rd, 2010


As it turns out, flies aren’t just super apt daredevils buzzing around your mighty hand as try to crush the winged pest. Nope, they just have a built in sense of autopilot that adjusts to changing wind currents faster than it would take for them to make a conscious decision to act.

The researchers glued tiny steel pins to the backs of the flies, allowing them to gently nudge the insects off course with a magnetic pulse as they buzzed about. As can be seen in the video, which is slowed down to 1/300th of actual speed, the flies reorient themselves quickly in response to the magnetic pulse (about 7 seconds in)—too quickly, the researchers report, for them to have responded consciously to the change. And that may explain why they’re so hard to swat.

Shoo fly! Or just wait until the wind blows another direction and you move that way without thinking, moron.

[Science Mag]

One Response to “Science Quantifies Why Flies Are So Annoying To Swat”

  1. Marty Says:

    I always thought that the reason fly are so hard to swat sometimes is because of the wind you create when you swat in combination with the weigth of the fly ?