Las Vegas: Come for the slot machines, stay for the shows, leave because ... you can’t stand the swarms of grasshoppers taking over the city?
Yep, a swarm of grasshoppers so big that it’s interfering with weather radar has overtaken Sin City. The insects are flocking to the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip and don’t show any signs of going away anytime soon.
Is This a Sign of the End Times?
The infestation does have a biblical, end times feel to it! But the swarm is more of a case of bad luck in terms of weather and grasshopper migration patterns. Vegas is a desert, but this year, it’s been unusually wet. It’s only August, but the city has already received 4.5 more inches of rain than it usually does annually. So instead of passing by Las Vegas during their annual migration, the grasshoppers decided to stay and hang out in the damper-than-usual conditions.
Plus, like so many Vegas tourists, they love the lights! The city’s strip is famous for its glittering signs and shining replicas of monuments like the Eiffel Tower, all glowing bright throughout the night. Grasshoppers aren’t immune to that glitz and glamour – they’re drawn to ultraviolet lights. So unless Vegas shuts down those bulbs and dries out quick, the grasshoppers won’t have any reason to leave.
Not All Bad for Business
With that in mind, some tourists and locals have tried their best to embrace their new neighbors for the time being. Videos across Twitter and Instagram show bizarre scenes of the swarms, and locals have expressed their gratitude that, while annoying, at least the insects don’t bite, carry disease or pose danger as an invasive species.
One local pizzeria is even hoping to boost business thanks to the bugs – they’re offering “The Canyon Hopper,” a pizza they describe as being only for daredevils. In addition to chorizo, goat cheese, caramelized onions and arugula, the pizza comes topped with lime and garlic-roasted grasshoppers. The pizza place said it will be available until supplies last, and we’re betting that the rest of Las Vegas hopes that’s not for long.
About the Author
Rachelle Dragani is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn with extensive experience covering the latest innovation and development in the world of science. Her pieces on topics including DNA sequencing, tissue engineering and stem cell advances have been featured in publications including BioTechniques: the International Journal of Life Science Methods, Popular Mechanics, Futurism and Gizmodo.