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Met Office Radar Picks Up Giant Swarm Of Flying Ants Over UK

Met Office Radar Picks Up Giant Swarm Of Flying Ants Over UK

A giant swarm of flying ants approaching the UK has been picked up from space.

The Met Office released images from its radar systems showing the huge cloud of ants, which reportedly measured 50 miles wide, heading to Kent and Sussex.

Smaller swarms were also spotted moving towards London.

Tweeting about the bizarre occurrence, the Met Office wrote: "It's not raining in London, Kent or Sussex, but our radar says otherwise...

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"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."

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Speaking about the bizarre images, however, a spokesperson for The Met Office said this wasn't as rare as you might think.

They said: "It's not unusual for larger swarms to be picked up. 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."

This comes just days after swarms of flying ants have descended on the UK earlier this week, again appearing as rainfall on the Met Office's radar.

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The Liverpool Echo reported how one woman, based in Ellesmere Port in Cheshire, said her children 'all started screaming' at the sight of the flying ants when they 'appeared all of a sudden'.

Another woman from the same area also said her family had to 'run in and take cover', while a third added that the insects had 'swarmed her garden'.

The Met Office picked up a huge swarm of flying ants on its radar. Credit: Flickr/Matt MacGillivray
The Met Office picked up a huge swarm of flying ants on its radar. Credit: Flickr/Matt MacGillivray

And it wasn't just up north, either, with 'flying ants' trending on Twitter as others across the UK shared their own experiences during the phenomenon known as Flying Ant Day.

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One person tweeted: "Wait so everyone in London is dealing with #FlyingAnts??? F***ing hell I thought I had gone mad this morning."

Another wrote: "So today I learnt the UK has a thing called flying ant day. Massive amounts of ants erupting from my geraniums was an alarming way to discover this."

Another Twitter user added: "So glad #flyingants is trending because I've been moaning about them all day. Good to know I'm not alone. Horrid little f***ers."

A fourth also joked: "Usually hate Flying Ant Day but actually nice to see a planned event going ahead in 2020 tbh."

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Every summer, huge numbers of flying ants suddenly appear in UK skies, as young queens leave their nests to found their own colonies.

According to the Society of Biology, during this nuptial flight a young queen will mate with males, before landing to start a new colony.

Featured Image Credit: Flickr/Matt MacGillivray

Topics: UK News

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Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]