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Why Does Rain Not Kill Mosquitoes?

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Published on Jun 6, 2012

How Does a Mosquito Not Get Killed By Raindrops? - as part of the news series by GeoBeats.

For all those sleepless nights that you have spent wondering how a mosquito survives rain, you may finally have an answer. Well, ok, you probably haven't given it much thought but regardless, it's a fascinating scenario considering if it were to be applied to humans, it'd be akin to getting struck by a car while you are standing and you wouldn't survive.

Researchers at Georgia Tech, using high-speed videography conducted studies to answer this question. They observed that its low-mass and strong exoskeleton enabled a mosquito to withstand drops. When hit with a raindrop, they don't offer any resistance and instead, fall with the raindrop.

Describing how it eventually separates from the raindrop, David Hu notes that a mosquito uses "its long legs and wings" and its "drag forces act to rotate the mosquito off the point of contact. This is necessary, otherwise the mosquito will be thrown into the ground at the speed of a falling raindrop."

This research can benefit the field of micro-aerial vehicles that are being used more and more by military and law-enforcement for surveillance and rescue operations.

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