Mosquitoes Don’t Pop
There has always been those myths that people simply can’t resist trying out for themselves: like dropping a slice of buttered toast to see if it lands butter side down or seeing if consuming Pop Rocks candies and soda will really make your stomach explode. Though they might not be as flashy as something found on an episode of MythBusters, there are many common assumptions about mosquitoes. One of those myths tells a rather “explosive” tale: that you can make a mosquito “explode” with either a flex of the arm or a pinch of the skin.
This myth is as follows: a mosquito lands on your flesh—usually somewhere like your bicep— and rather than smacking it away you flex or pinch your skin forcing the vampiric little fly to eat until it bursts. A rather gruesome, and ironic, end for the little bloodsuckers. This mosquito myth, however, is completely hinged on the idea that you can prevent the mosquito from removing its proboscis by flexing or pinching your skin. This is something that isn’t possible. Honest to goodness, you can’t create enough pressure to keep the mosquito stinger in your arm until the abdomen bursts. The only thing your efforts will be seeing if you try to make a mosquito pop through blood pressure is a bigger bump. There is, however, a bit of truth to this mosquito myth.
Within the scientific community there is a general consensus that there is indeed a way possible to cause a mosquito to burst. Tests conducted in in the mid to late 90s revealed that the only way to make a mosquito pop requires the severing of its ventral nerve cord. By precisely cutting this specific nerve cord a disconnect within the mosquito’s brain occurs, resulting in loss of awareness in satiety. In simpler terms, when the ventral nerve cord is severed, a mosquito has no sense of being full. It will continue to consume blood until it quadruples its body weight, whereupon it explodes. So unless you or a friend have the capabilities of performing neurosurgery, you won’t be seeing a mosquito “explode” anytime soon. For More…