My first thought when looking at this photo (posted by Reddit user ILikeWhereThisIsGoin, who probably doesn’t) was “oh, a lawnmower must have exploded! Look at all those grass clippings. All those perfectly innocuous, not-alive grass clippings.” But no, that’s just thousands and thousands of mayflies. Still perfectly innocuous, in the sense that they won’t hurt you, but WOW a lot more gross.

Minnesota has been experiencing its worst mayfly season in a decade, with swarms so thick they make you seriously wonder whether someone misinterpreted the “locusts” part of the apocalypse. On one local highway, the four-inch-deep carpet of flies actually caused an accident, when a car slid on a mayfly slick and careened into another vehicle. A nearby town had to send out plows to shovel the bugs off the road.

Reader support makes our work possible. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations TRIPLED!

Mayflies only live for a day or two, so at least Minnesota’s problem quickly shifted to dead mayflies instead of furiously rutting mayflies. But really, neither is great.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Here’s a video:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayHZUDtuII0]

 

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.