Did you know? - Fascinating facts and useful trivia factoids about people, products and places

Mesocyclops and killer mosquitos

Killer mosquitos

It is often incorrectly quoted that mosquitos kill more people than any other animal. Actually, it is not mosquitos that kill people but the parasite they carry that causes malaria.

Approximately 300 million people worldwide are affected by malaria and about 1,5 million die from it every year. The greatest known outbreak of malaria happened in the 1920s in Russia when 13 million people were effected and 600,000 died. It also proved that mosquitos thrive in cold temperatures. Mosquitos are abundant in Antarctica.

Malaria is caused by protozoan parasites carried by female mosquitos. There are about 380 species of mosquito, but only 60 transmit the parasite.

Australian and Vietnamese scientists use the mesocyclops, a tiny one-eyed shrimp-like creature, to combat mosquitos successfully. Wherever they are placed, the mesocyclops destroy between 96% and 100% of the mosquitos.

Hippos kill more people than any other wild animal, even lions and tigers – or sharks. Even crocodiles kill more people than sharks. The reptile that kills most people is the snake.