The first mention of locusts can be found in Sumerian writing about 8, 000 years ago. Locust swarms have always been a terrible disaster for people. The Bible also mentions that in the time of Moses, hordes of this terrible insect flew into Egypt, destroying all vegetation in the country, to the last blade of grass.
The word "locust" itself is of Turkic origin and in translation means "yellow".
Interestingly, locusts eat everything green when they search for food, no matter what it is. If, for example, it is in a confined space, after all the green food has been eaten, the individuals will begin to eat their fellows (green).
In total, about 7, 000 locust species are known on the planet, of which 500-600 live on the territory of our country.
Locusts can fly up to 300 kilometers without landing, while the flight speed reaches 16 kilometers per hour. For comparison, a bee can cover a distance of 7 kilometers in one flight. True, the speed of the bee develops up to 29 kilometers per hour. The usual flight altitude of the locust is 200-300 meters from the ground, but some individuals overcome the line of 1000 meters and more. In 1988, a swarm of locusts flew from Africa to the Caribbean Islands.
Locusts can also walk on foot, in one day the insect moves 15-20 kilometers.
It turns out that not only locusts are capable of eating vegetation, condemning people to hunger. In many countries of the world, locust dishes are highly respected by gourmets. Experts even estimate that locusts are eaten in 36 countries in Africa, 29 countries in Asia, as well as in 23 states in South and North America.
Locusts can be found on all continents of our planet, except, of course, Antarctica - the climate of the icy continent is too harsh even for this insect. And North America - it is still unknown why, but the locust invasion of the United States in 1875 (an extinct species of "Rocky Mountain filly") was the last locust invasion in North America, not due to mysterious circumstances, but, according to some sources, due to the fact that during the cultivation of land in the very West of the Rocky Mountains, people accidentally destroyed all the eggs from which the next generation of locusts should have been hatched for the next invasion. However, this did not happen, so the invasion itself was the last.
In one day, the locust eats an amount of greenery equal to its own weight (about 2 grams). And the total mass of some especially large flocks is hundreds of thousands of tons.
The largest, officially registered, locust outbreak was noted in 1875 in the state of Texas. The huge swarm caused colossal damage, and soon, for some unknown reason, disappeared.
In 1962, locusts attacked southern Morocco. In just 5 days, the flock destroyed 7, 000 tons of oranges. It turns out that one ton was eaten every minute.
The Nikon Chronicle contains information that locusts flew to Russia in 1008, after which a terrible famine broke out.
The female locust lays eggs in loose, moist soil. This happens in the spring, when the soil warms up enough. During her life, the female is able to lay up to 400 eggs.
Modern science is able to control locusts in a variety of ways. But in the Middle Ages, there were no such opportunities. But, and then people tried to cope with the locusts. Moreover, in the most unusual ways. For example, in the 15th century, the court of the French town of Saint-Jean-de-Molien considered the case of locust spoilage of local vineyards. By decision of the court, the locusts were allocated an area, the boundaries of which they could not leave. True, the lawyer said that the site is too small and barren, the insects simply do not have enough food. Here is such a judicial incident.