Funnel Frenzy

May 26, 2014

Funnel Frenzy

Photographer: Ana Filipa Scarpa; Filipa's blog
Summary Authors: Ana Filipa Scarpa; Jim Foster

Looking down your street and seeing something that looks like a funnel cloud has to be an awful feeling. It turns out that this supposed funnel, captured from Leziria Grande at Vila Franca de Xira in Portugal, wasn't really a cloud nor was it actually funnel-shaped. It wasn't even dangerous. However, it could be described as being voracious. It's composed solely of insects. It's not known for sure what kind of bugs makeup this swarm, but they may be red locusts. The swarm extended perhaps 1,000 ft (305 m). It was nearly a quarter of a mile (402 m) away from my position -- I took it with a 200 mm lens. Perspective makes the leading edge of the swarm appear smaller and thus tapered. Photo taken at 6:25 p.m. March 9, 2014.

Photo details: Camera Model: NIKON D3; Lens: 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8; Focal Length: 200mm (35mm equivalent: 200mm); Focus Distance: Infinite; Aperture: f/5.0; Exposure Time: 0.0063 s (1/160); ISO equiv: 200; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5 Windows.

Note: This Earth Science Picture of the Day was orignally scheduled for April 21 but a system failure prevented it from appearing.