Ladybug Swarms and Durian Auctions

Published on June 10th 2019
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Ladybug Swarm

Last week a tweet by the San Diego Weather Service took the internet by a storm - a ladybug storm.
The weather station tweeted a picture of an odd radar echo above San Diego last Tuesday evening.
A close up of a map
At first, the meteorologists assumed they were looking at some light rain clouds, but they soon realised: it wasn't actually raining.
The team reached out to volunteer weather spotters, who pointed out the unusually high number of ladybugs flying around.
“It’s definitely not birds, and it’s not bats. But we’re still not sure if it’s ladybugs,” said Alex Tardy, who works at the San Diego office. The radar was picking up on “lots of tiny things, about the size of large raindrops”, he noted.
Meteorologists are still trying to confirm this theory, but since the swarming happened during the night and high up in the atmosphere, it was too dark to take photographs and there were no private planes in the air either.
Steve Heydon, a curator of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, noted that ladybugs "tend to move gradually rather than in huge clusters.” They are also more likely to travel in warmer temperatures.
Since these swarms are hard to see with the naked eye and have rarely been observed, scientists may never find out what caused the radar patterns.

Durian Auctioned

A luxury durian fruit has been auctioned for 1.5 million baht (£37,750) at a charity auction in Thailand.
A half eaten banana on a table
The durian, of the kanyao variety (one of the most expensive in the world), was picked the day before the event. The piece of fruit was chosen for its perfect size, shape, and ripeness.
The fruit, known for its poignant smell, usually costs between $50 and $100, but this specimen was sold for almost double the previous record price.
The supply of this top quality fruit is limited around the world. The fruit has a short shelf life, spoiling only two days after its harvest.
Its production and productivity are inconsistent. Excess or deficient rains, cyclones, floods can easily ruin a harvest and cause variations in the quality of fruits.
Finally, the transportation of the fruit by air is limited. It is banned from public transportation because of its pungent smell.
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