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Slow-Mo Videos Capture Flying Insects’ True Beauty

While insects are often unwelcome in our homes, they are, in many ways, beautiful. Or, at the very least, fascinating to watch, especially when they fly around in slow motion. We know this because Dr. Adrian Smith has put together a series of slow-mo insect flight videos, which put the surprisingly cute creatures in a new light.

Laughing Squid found Smith’s videos, which he posted to his social media accounts as well as North Carolina’s Museum of Natural Science’s “Ant Lab” YouTube channel. Smith, the Head of the Evolutionary Biology & Behavior Research Lab at the Museum, makes most of the channel’s videos.

As Smith notes in the video immediately below, he “only went after the weird stuff” when picking insects to capture in slow-mo. These insects include disparate flying bugs, such as plume moths, stoneflies, and lacewings. And each one of the creature types has a flight pattern as unique as its name.

In regards to the takeoff and flight sequences, it’s difficult to pick a favorite. The painted lichen moths, with their large, colorful wings, look like bizarre, undulating kites. The large stonefly almost looks like it’s playing in water as it dives into air. Even aphids are intriguing to watch in slow-mo, as they ratchet their bodies counterclockwise every time they beat their wings.

For those who are now truly enamored with watching bugs, we suggest you check out the rest of Ant Lab’s videos. Or, if you’re fascinated by the bugs’ aerodynamics, but still a little grossed out, robotic insects are just as fascinating to watch. And scientists are building a lot of the little robot emulations. For some reason….

What do you think about these slow-motion flying insect videos? Are you going to look at airborne bugs in a whole new way now? Take off in the comments, people!

Featured Image: Ant Lab