Weather radar shows 30 metric tons of grasshoppers swarmed Las Vegas one night

The dazzling lights of Las Vegas are meant to attract. And on one summer night, they did just that, luring millions of grasshoppers— a whopping 30.2 metric tons’ worth.

That insect cloud gives us the first numbers for the size of artificial light’s impact on insects at such a large scale, says Elske Tielens, an ecologist at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

That dramatic night, July 27, 2019, marked the peak of weeks of grasshoppers taking to the air after dark and, like moths bewitched by a porchlight, filling the brightly lit streets of the most intensely illuminated city in the United States. The spectacle made international news.

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