Do you live in an area where lady bugs swarm the nooks and crannies of your home in autumn? Or maybe you’ve been plagued with a termite infestation.
These types of swarms are fairly common. What isn’t so common are the follow strange animal swarms you had to be there to believe.
1. Cats in Japan
They may call you the Crazy Cat Lady, but no matter how many cats you have hanging out in your home or barn, you’re unlikely to compare to the Japanese island that serves as home to 120 cats. Aoshima is but a mile-long island where there are six times more cats than humans! Introduced to take care of mice problems, the cats stayed on the island (and had tons of babies). Today, visitors take a 30-minute ferry ride just to visit “Cat Island.”
2. Eyeless Fish in New Zealand
It would be strange to wake one morning to an eyeless fish on your doorstep. Imagine waking to find thousands washed up on the beach. In 2011 on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand, thousands of eyeless fish washed ashore. Although there was no logical explanation for this, the same thing happened two years later. Speculators say it could have been caused by illegal fish dumping or damage to a fishing net.
3. Blackbirds in Arkansas
Known as the “A-flock-alypse” by Beebe, Arkansas locals, it was strange to see thousands of blackbirds fall from the sky one New Year’s Eve. What’s even stranger is that it happened two years in a row! Some people speculate it was the result of a criminal act, but investigators say it was likely due to a resident setting off commercial-grade fireworks and spooking the birds, which led them to run into trees and buildings and fall to the ground.
4. Red Crabs on Christmas Island
Appearing only on Australia’s Christmas Island, the migration of the red crabs is a strange sight to see. On this small island, the crabs take from the forest to the shores every November and December to lay their eggs. The island is only 52 square miles, but there’s an estimated 43 million to 100 million crabs that inhabit it, although the introduction of the invasive yellow crazy ant has caused the numbers to dwindle in recent years. Good news for the crabs, though: Since the island is also a nature preserve, human traffic is not permitted during the migration period.
5. Ducks in Thailand
Check out this video filmed by Thai resident Jack Saranthat in which thousands of ducks stampede the roads of Thailand. According to estimates, there were about 100,000 ducks in the swarm. Luckily, the ducks were all moving in the same direction, and the locals took care to stop their vehicles and let the ducks pass, so there weren’t any injuries.
6. Velella velella in California
In 2014, tons of jellyfish-like creatures swarmed the shores from California to Oregon. While it’s strange enough to find a swarm of sea animals on the shore like this, it’s even stranger to see this species in person given that the Velella velella is the only species in its genus, making it quite a unique creature. They’re closely related to jellyfish, but the Velella velella can’t control their direction. Instead, they have a crest along their bodies that helps them move via wind power the way a sailboat does, which is perhaps why–as researchers theorize–they were found on the shores (due to the wind and water currents).
Have you ever seen a strange animal swarm or heard of one you think we ought to know about? Tell us about it in the comment section.