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A Totally Chill 10-Mile Blob Of Ladybugs Flew Over Your Head In The Night

A invasive species from Asia -- the Harlequin Ladybird -- takes flight in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
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Last night at around 9:30 p.m., the meteorologist on the evening shift at the National Weather Service station just north of San Diego saw a strange weather pattern on the radar. He thought it was a large rain cloud. But upon closer inspection, it didn't look like regular ol' precipitation -- more like a mass of tiny flying dots.

So he called one of the weather spotters up in Wrightwood. Spotters, for those who don't know, are volunteers in the SKYWARN® program, who are trained in the dark arts of severe weather spotting. That's some real Star Wars level sh*t.

"He informed us that the mass was in fact a 10-mile-wide swarm of ladybugs," said Casey Oswant, who took over the meteorologist post this morning.

Yes, ladybugs.

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The voracious aephid-eating monsters a.k.a midnight riders in red a.k.a. harbingers of the apocalypse were spread throughout the sky, flying at heights of 5,000 to 9,000 ft.

How should we react to a 10-mile thicc swarm of ladybugs? Something like this feels appropriate:


The NWS dubbed it a "bloom" -- which sounds... floral, but ominous.

"If they're showing up on our radar, it has to be a lot of them," Oswant said.

But by this morning, the blob had vanished. Like a ghost ship...or Moby's book tour."We saw them for a little bit but then they kind of dropped off of our radar," said Oswant.

Where did they go?

The hoard of insects either landed (!!?) or flew out of range. Oswant says maybe they went to Mexico.

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Unfortunately this isn't the end of the world as we know it (sorry, Satan). It's just a regular "lady beetle" migration that happens every June, when the Hippodamia species return to the mountains after laying eggs and feasting on aphids (delicious).

Basically, ladybugs are the new butterflies, just more mysterious ...and terrifying. If you need proof, just watch this video of "cute" ladybugs railroading helpless, innocent aphids like the red death monsters they are.


And if you're in the market for conspiracies, the name for this specific species of California Hippodamia lady bugs comes from Hippodamia, a mythological ancient Greek princesswhose eighteen suitors were killed while trying to win her hand. Her father had their heads mounted to the walls of the palace and she was like, abducted by a centaur or something. A totally chill and not at all apocalyptic story!

The Abduction of Hippodamia 1636-1638 by Rubens (Heritage Images/Getty Images)

Please consider this your literal heads up in case it starts raining bugs.