Scientists Finally Know Why Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others – Mystery Revealed

There’s a good chance that there’s a killer
lurking in your home right now. She’s probably watching you from some shadowy
corner of your house even as you watch this video. Don’t bother looking over your shoulder, she’s
far too stealthy, and in fact- she’s probably already struck. Without you even knowing it she’s already
injected you with a deadly cocktail and now you’re as good as dead. If you live anywhere but Antarctica, then
you’re pretty well acquainted with the mosquito. These flying insects are the bane of all humans
in during the spring and summer months, and they can ruin anything from a day at the lake
to a backyard barbecue. But in many cases, they’ll do more than just
leave behind an itchy bump, as mosquitoes are also one of the leading disease vectors
in the natural kingdom. In fact, mosquitoes are considered by many
to be the deadliest animal to have ever existed, and some scientists estimate that they may
have killed as many as half of all humans that have ever lived, all through the spread
of various diseases and parasites. The mosquito of today is no exception, and
reports of deadly West Nile virus have popped up everywhere from Canada to the United States
to across Europe. You can’t run, and you definitely can’t hide. Mosquitoes will look for you. They will find you. And like a revenge-fueled Liam Neeson, they
just might kill you. The best part? With global warming heating up the earth and
changing the climate, the northern latitudes that mosquitoes can show up at have been steadily
increasing for years, and the longer warm seasons all around the world have given mosquitoes
even more time to do what they do best: breed by the trillions. Soon any argument that global warming is real
or not will be moot as we’ll all be too busy trying to climb out from under an avalanche
of disease bearing mosquitoes. But why do mosquitoes even bite in the first
place? And why does it seem like sometimes you get
covered from head to toe in bites that refuse to stop itching for days while your friend
remains somehow untouched? Well this might come as a surprise, but mosquitoes
primarily feed on nectar, the natural juices of various plants, and fruit juices, and in
fact the male mosquito does not bite animal hosts at all, sticking to an all-vegan diet
that compliments his modern yoga-fueled lifestyle. Male mosquitoes it turns out are rather peaceful
individuals, and have no wish to harm any other living beings, content to gather all
their sustenance from fruits and plants. See you at the smoothie bar Mr. Mosquito. Female mosquitoes on the other hand, are hellbent,
rampant, bloodthirsty succubi that kill in the millions all in the name of procreation. That’s because before a female mosquito can
lay her eggs, she needs to obtain proteins only found in the blood of animals. When a daddy mosquito loves a mommy mosquito
very much, he gifts her a package of sperm which she holds on to in order to develop
eggs, and then the mommy mosquito flies away to drink the blood of dozens of innocent victims,
leaving a trail of death and destruction in her wake. Many human relationships follow a similar
pattern. Only by acquiring fresh blood can her body
get the proteins that she can’t get from plant nectar which in turn allow her to rapidly
develop a brood of eggs, which she then fertilizes with the male’s sperm package. While the exact process varies depending on
species of mosquito- because nature hates you and wants you to know it so of course
there’s more than one species- ultimately the female will find a source of water or
moisture in order to deposit her eggs. There her job is done, and she flies away
to do it all over again- unlike many other species of insects and animals mosquitoes
breed as often as they can, and once again scientists have confirmed that this is because
nature hates us. On their own though, mosquitoes are quite
harmless- even the females who do all the biting. When a mosquito bites, she is kind enough
to inject you with a topical anesthetic which numbs the immediate area of the bite. Then she injects her needle-like proboscis
deep into your flesh- an instrument so finely tuned that today scientists are replicating
its construction in order to make pain-free syringes. However like a sloppy first-time kisser, the
mosquito’s saliva ends up spreading all over your bodily tissues, and this triggers an
immune response from your hyper-vigilant immune system. The body then produces histamine which is
aimed at increasing blood flow to the area so that more white blood cells can hitch a
ride to the site of the intrusion, but unfortunately the histamine also messes with nerve cells
in the vicinity which causes the intense itching associated with mosquito bites. Some people’s immune systems however don’t
even react to the mosquito’s saliva, either because their immune system is incredibly
lazy and can’t be bothered to do its job, or because it has grown tolerant to the saliva
after identifying it as a non-threat. You can always identify who these lucky individuals
who don’t react to mosquito bites are by the way they constantly ask, “There’s mosquitoes
in these parts?” when you show up looking like you’ve developed the measles after a
two day camping trip. Try and not hurt them, no matter how much
they deserve it. On their own, mosquitoes are pretty harmless. Just like sharing needles amongst drug users
triggered an AIDS crisis in inner city populations around the world decades ago though, having
mosquitoes fly from victim to victim and biting each is a great way to transfer diseases. Though the mosquito uses your blood to create
its offspring- which we have to admit is pretty metal of them- there’s bound to be microscopic
portions of blood and all the other things it contains left in its proboscis, which is
then injected into a new host when the mosquito bites again. This makes mosquitoes the world’s number one
disease vector, with between 725,000 and 1 million estimated victims a year. Most of these victims fall prey to malaria,
which has been haunting mankind for millennia and still infects an estimated 200 million
people every year, killing 600,000. This officially makes mosquitoes the deadliest
animal on earth, surpassing even the total kill count of humanity. By comparison, the US civil war- deadliest
war in its history- killed approximately 620,000 in four years of fighting. That means every year mosquitoes kill the
equivalent of a four-year American civil war. While medicine constantly improves and access
to health care is expanded around the world, global warming is believed to only increase
these figures, even into modern First World nations like the US, where the medical bills
for treatment alone will probably kill you before disease does. So how do mosquitoes find their victims, and
why do some people get bit more than others? Well, mosquitoes are capable of identifying
their victims by sight given their very large compound eyes, but they are only able to see
in shades of white and black. This is why individuals with darker clothing
or darker skin tones are more likely to get bit than those with not, they stand out better
against the lightly colored sky and thus serve as a beacon for hungry mosquitoes. If you want to reduce your chance of getting
bitten then we recommend that you wear lighter colored clothing, which will definitely put
a cramp in the style of any goth community that doesn’t want to die to malaria. However mosquitoes also hone in on their prey
with their delicate antennas, which can ‘sniff’ the air for various scents that your body
gives off. One of those scents, and a virtual dinner
bell for mosquitoes, is that of lactic acid, which is the same acid that builds up in your
body while you exercise. Its scent can leak out through the pores in
your skin and linger in the air, which a hungry mosquito will follow back to the source. This is especially attractive to mosquitoes
because typically large amounts of lactic acid means that an individual has been moving
or exercising a lot, and has an increased blood flow which will bring delicious blood
closer to the upper layers of the skin. Carbon dioxide however also attracts mosquitoes,
and every time you exhale you’re throwing up a neon sign that says get your dinner right
here. Surprisingly though it turns out that mosquitoes
do have their preferred victims, which might be why you’re the only one in the group that
gets eaten alive every time you go camping. Individuals with type O blood are basically
a delicacy for mosquitoes, and preferred over other blood types. There is also a genetic component which scientists
have not yet identified which causes mosquitoes to prefer you over other people and thus lead
to more bites. That’s right, something in your genes literally
calls out to mosquitoes to come dine on you- you can thank your parents for that one. However there are other factors that draw
mosquitoes from one individual to another which can be controlled, and help reduce the
likelihood of being bitten. These include the presence of abundant skin
bacteria- so if you don’t shower, expect to get bit more often- as well as heavy breathers. Individuals with high body heat and pregnant
women are also more attractive to mosquitoes. So how do you avoid being bitten and dying
to a horrible disease or parasite? Well, first of all forget any of those scented
candles you so often see for sale in stores- they have been proven time and time again
to not work except in closed-in areas with no air circulation. The reason why should be obvious, but basically
even a slight breeze will disperse the smoke produced by the candles and dilute it in the
environment enough that it basically becomes useless. You can forget even harder any homeopathic
candles you bought from etsy claiming to use ‘natural remedies’ to keep mosquitoes away-
not only do they not work for the same reason as traditional repellent candles, but they
also don’t work because homeopathy is not science. Instead spray yourself with good old-fashioned,
man-made chemical repellents, applying a thin layer every ninety minutes for best results. However after what you learned here, the best
way to avoid being bitten is to never exercise so you don’t produce any lactic acid at all. Become a motionless blob, because any muscle
movement produces lactic acid, and also stop breathing- the carbon dioxide in your breath
will alert mosquitoes to your presence. Alternatively, you could use the same principle
as that used in the common bear-attack avoidance technique of simply being around someone who
runs slower than you, and just hang around people who breathe heavier than you, are pregnant,
and exercise a lot. The best mosquito avoidance technique may
just be to camouflage yourself in the middle of a mosquito buffet, looked over by the dozens
of hungry mosquitoes on the prowl for someone more delicious than you. Are you prone to being bitten by mosquitoes? How do you avoid being bitten by mosquitoes? Let us know in the comments! And as always if you enjoyed this video don’t
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