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I Do Not Kill Flies!
Jan 1, 2015

The flies are surely "acrobatic flight masters." They can detect the necessary angle of lift-off depending on the strength and direction of the wind through the receptive molecules (receptors) they have. They can lift off vertically immediately after this calculation is made, and can reach speeds of 6 miles per hour.

Flies have two wings that are capable of moving independently from each other; these wings go back and forth on a single axis during flight. Technically, the unequal angles of the wings to the abdominal region could have prevented flight. Yet in the case of flies, this abnormal situation is not a hindrance and results in a harmonious wing stroke.

Let's bring our palms together over our head and then lower them near our legs. How many times can we make this movement in a second? Let's say two, three, or maybe four times if we are really quick. Flies have the ability to stroke their wings hundreds of times in just a second. There are benefits associated with this series of movements. The surface of the wings and the rear section of the head are equipped with sensitive hairs that are in charge of registering air currents and mechanical pressures and conducting relevant flight data to the brain. The unwanted effects of air currents towards the body surface and wings during the flight are detected via these hairs that house receptors. Thus, the wings are controlled according to the signals arriving from the brain. Therefore, a fly can feel an air curtain (like an insect screen) against it instantly and often times flies away. Sometimes, they also stroke their wings hundreds of times per second to avoid the negative effects of air resistance on the wings. Without these receptors and serial wing movements, the air current would stick to the wing's surface and would not let the fly, well, fly.

Is it a fly or a plane?

We sometimes witness comparisons between the flight specifications of planes and flies. However, it is a great injustice to the fly to be put in the same basket as a plane. The products of modern technology, such as a plane, are invented after drawing inspiration from the meaningful skills of animals like a fly. It is not possible to build planes with a wing width smaller than 15 centimeters; there are disadvantages to wings smaller than that in terms of generating lift. On the other hand, flies have much smaller and more fragile wing structures (relative to their bodies) and can maintain their flight in a perfect fashion. When a fly extends its rear legs, covered with hairs designed especially for cleaning the wings, and sweeps them over its wings, doesn't this suggest a fly is more impressive than a plane?

It challenges mountaineers!

A fly challenges mountain climbers by easily moving on the four walls and ceiling of a room – and even on slippery surfaces like glass. What is its secret?

Its ability to stand or walk on the ceiling without being defeated by gravity is possible via some of its organs. The final sections of fly's legs are like hooks and the tip of this hook is equipped with suction pads. When flies touch a surface, a sticky fluid is secreted from the suction pads. Flies can remain suspended on the ceiling with the help of this fluid. When it approaches the ceiling, extends its legs to the front and flips towards the opposite direction of its approach, it sticks to the ceiling on its abdomen.

The grand architecture in the eye of the fly

Can you complete a jigsaw puzzle of 8000 pieces in a second without any missing pieces? It seems impossible, but let's accept that you have. Can you fit this puzzle into an area that's just a couple of square millimeters? It's not possible for a man of intelligence to pass this test. However, the fly completes this miraculous task every time it uses its eyes in our rooms. We are unaware of the fact that the fly, which draws patterns of colors under the sun light, has such amazing eyes. Its eye is created to contain nearly 8000 ommatidium, which function almost as small eyes. Different areas can be seen via each ommatidium and once images are put together in the brain, the whole picture forms. Through these tiny eyes, shaped as hexagons that resemble honey combs, a fly can see as close as 2 mm – and can even see behind its body! Because of the wise hexagonal design, the ommatidia are placed in the most economical way possible; there are no missing spaces which could cause a lack of clarity. The optical speed of a fly's eye is nearly 4-10 times faster than the human eye. Flies can see the ultraviolet section of the light spectrum and this allows them to evade predators easily in dim environments. Every time a fly uses its eyes, it's as if it gives the message, "Look at how miraculously I've been created. Do you think that my creation could have been in vain?" Such complexity is an inspiration to scientists as they try to develop new technologies.

One of the features of flies that surprises scientists most is the way they use a neural network of a very limited number of neurons to perform so many complex movements. Biologist Michael Dickinson expresses his astonishment as to how a neural system of such small scale can accomplish all of these features.

Do not ever kill a fly!

Flies consume plenty of energy during flight. A regular supply of oxygen is needed to compensate for the energy they use. Air is inhaled via a constriction of the abdominal muscles when the fly lands on a surface. However, during the flight, air enters via the serial movements of the wings. Air that enters through the openings of the chitin layer surrounding the fly is transported to cells via small channels.

Flies locate their food via their smell receptors. Thus, a fly in the air easily lands on the food source that it detects. The taste organ detects whether the food is an ideal source or not. Usually, their choices of food are human foods, waste remains, and dirt. There are two tubes located in the mouth of the house fly. It sucks liquid food with one of the tubes; saliva containing enzymes is secreted on the food source with the other hose so that digestion is facilitated. A fly secretes plenty of saliva in order to liquefy the solid foods it prefers.

Flies that use dirt and waste as a nutritional source are considered as disease contracting pests. However, this is a major fallacy. Flies are actually the health officers of the ecosystem. They turn microorganisms ineffective as they take in their food; the digestive enzymes that they carry play role in completing this important task. Due to this important task, it should be remembered that killing a fly is very unfortunate. Great scholar, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, notes that flies are assigned to terminate unhealthy microorganisms and materials.

Scientists led by Prof. Andy Beattie have noticed that flies are resistant to all kinds of dirt, including from meat and manure. He said that these organisms should be super resistant to infections, otherwise they could not survive and that our work to gain antibiotics from them has been partially successful. In fact, studies focused on obtaining antibiotics from flies started in the past century. English and Swedish scientists isolated certain antibiotics from flies in 1930 and 1947. Efforts to isolate antibiotics from flies continue today.

Reproduction in black flies!

Black flies reproduce quickly. In suitable humidity and temperature, eggs start to hatch in just 10 hours. Larvae feed on liquid materials, though they need bacteria living on solid food to convert it into liquid form. Therefore, an acid is secreted inside the digestive track of the fly that can terminate most of the bacteria. Thus, the insect becomes free of bacteria, ready to fly. One fly can lay more than 100 eggs at one time and between 600 and 1000 in their lifetime. They can lay eggs again after just three days.

When looking at the information we have, it's clear that flies are acrobatic flight masters with mind blowing features. We should abandon the negativity towards flies and contemplate the perfection of creation by considering their many remarkable skills – and working to discover even more secrets about them.