Imagine how tough life would be if raindrops weighed 3 tons apiece as they fell out of the sky at 35 km/h. That is how raindrops look to a mosquito, yet a raindrop weighing 50 times more than one can hit the insect and the mosquito will survive.
It is definitely a mundane question but troubles us for so long time: how is it that mosquitos can fly through the rain without getting knocked out of the air? Recently, a bunch of scientists from University of Georgia conducted an experiment to find out the secrets of mosquitos.
The first thing they learned was that it is hard to aim a raindrop at a mosquito. The first step of the experiment was dropping small drops from the third floor of a building onto a container of mosquitos, but it did not go well. It is kind of like playing the worst game of darts you can imagine.
So the team took the experiment inside. They fired jets of water drops at the mosquitos and recorded the results with a super-high-speed video camera. They found that mosquitos don't actually dodge raindrops — they hitch a ride.
To them it is like getting hit with a feather. They literally ride the drop for about a thousandth of a second until their wings catch the wind like little kites, and tear the mosquito away from the drop. The mosquitos don't seem any the worse for wear.
The real hazard for mosquitos is apparently if they are flying very close to the ground. If they don't peel off from the raindrop in time, they live out that idiom about being between a rock and a hard place.
So what did researchers learn? For the inventors who are making flying robots the size of insects, as long as your robot is small enough, you don't have to worry about rain. For biologists, here's another exquisite example of how life has evolved to survive on a planet that's inundated with fluids. And for anyone who might be tempted to kill a mosquito by spraying water at it in midair — it'll never work.
dodge: v. 闪开；躲开
between a rock and a hard place:（谚语）左右为难；进退维谷
inundate: v. 淹没；泛滥