Life

The Mysterious Smoky Columns of Lake Malawi Revealed – An Insect Transformation Spectacle

   In southern Africa, there is a large lake with an area of ​​nearly 30,000 square kilometers. The lake is vast and the scenery is beautiful. However, it is unbelievable that sometimes there will be a top-shaped smoke column hundreds of meters high on the lake. Mysterious and weird.
  A big smoky lake
   This smoky big lake is called Lake Malawi, which is located at the junction of Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania in southern Africa. The locals also call it Lake Nyasa, which means “big water” or lakes”. The water here is clear and clear. On a windless day in September, the transparency of the lake can reach 20 meters. Standing on a boat or by the lake, you can see groups of fish swimming around.
   However, this big lake sometimes has a mysterious smoking phenomenon: at a certain dawn when the rainy season comes, groups of gray-black smoke clouds will rise from the lake. Some are as black as ink, full of murderous aura… In the blink of an eye, the smoke rose hundreds of meters high, piercing the clear sky like a sharp sword, almost touching the white clouds in the sky. shocking.
  It turned out to be a lake gnat.
   After investigation, scientists found that the culprit of the smoke cloud was an inconspicuous little insect—the lake gnat.
   Gnats, also known as mosquitoes, there are more than 1,270 known species of gnats in the world, and lake gnats are one of them. They have needle-like long mouths, large wings, short feet, and humpbacked backs. Although they look a little scary, they are very “petite” in size, with a length of 2 to 5 mm.
   It turns out that at the bottom of Lake Malawi, there is a dead water area formed by deep water eddies. This can be said to be a desert area of ​​the Great Lakes. Due to the low oxygen content, many creatures including fish and shrimp cannot survive. However, there is one biological exception, which is the larvae of lake gnats. After hundreds of millions of larvae hatch in the water, they hide here and grow up happily without any worries. When the rainy season came, these guys also grew up, so one day at dawn, they collectively floated to the surface of the water, and started a magical transformation show: they transformed into insects, grew wings, and immediately flew to the sky to find a partner. When hundreds of millions of lake gnats fly away from the lake and gather together to mate, a top-shaped smoke cloud hundreds of meters high is formed. Due to the distance, people on the shore couldn’t see clearly, so they mistakenly thought that the Great Lake was smoking.
   This spectacle did not last long. After mating, the lake gnats all fell into the water and died immediately after laying eggs. But after their eggs hatched in the lake, the larvae would enter the stagnant water area to live again. When the rainy season comes, these little guys will gather in large numbers on the lake again like their parents, and stage a shocking spectacle of smoke from the Great Lake.

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