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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: What Happens to Your Blood Inside a Mosquito?

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Its dark, nay... an almost pitch-black summer night, your windows are

open, a breeze is blowing...and a fiendish criminal is sneaking into your

room. His plan is simple: to drink all the blood from your slumbering

form. He silently approaches you, his target, preparing to take the first

sip of that crimson elixir... when suddenly the lights are turned on,

illuminating the room. You - his prey - have woken up, and glare straight

into the eyes of this inhuman villain. But wait! It's just a mosquito. And he

cant do this all alone. To drink all of the blood from a human, hes going

to need some friends to help him out. The only question is... just how

many of friends does the diabolical mosquito need? Does the world even

have enough mosquitoes to drain all of the blood from a single human

being? At first, lets figure out what motivates

these tiny, vampiric criminals. Mosquitoes often feed not only on blood, but

also on water and nectar. But, just as with humans, their lives radically

change when a strong feeling oflove appears. Female mosquitoes

meet theirsoulmatejust 3 days after being born. But on that note,

their luck ends. Sadly, similar to what sometimes happens with humans, after

this gloriousnight of lovethe male flies away, and the female

is forced to find food for herself and her future children on her own. And like

any mother to be, she needs to supplement her diet with extra vitamins

and trace elements. But more than anything else she needs protein,

protein to help nourish her unborn offspring. Its here where human

blood comes to the rescue. These future mothers drink human blood for

one simple reason: the protein they derive from it. They digest our

human blood for 2 to 3 days, whereupon they then lay their eggs in a convenient

reservoir of water. The mother invests much in this endeavor,

often even dying when giving birth. Remarkably, as it turns out, a single

mosquito needs your blood only once in its entire life! And that is

simply for the sake of her children. Interestingly, “urban adaptedmosquitos

dont need your blood at all! This species has evolved for life in our cities

and receives all its vital nutrients from the water in, for example,

our basements. Is it difficult to imagine that these cute - seemingly harmless

- little creatures could

drink all of the blood from a human being? Scientists from the University

of Cincinnati say that you shouldnt drop your guard so fast. They

discovered that mosquitoes desire and drink even more human blood if

they are lacking in water. And, according to the study, when the

temperature goes above 77ºF - or 25ºС - 30% of the females go on a

second, more intensive nutrition-related search operation, become much

more aggressive. So, during a drought, we risk becoming victims of

hordes of rabid and hostile pregnant mosquitoes. Certainly not a

reassuring fact, especially if we take recent global warming into account.

And what if the males also suddenly wanted human blood due to higher

temperatures? In that turned out to be the case, the possibility of dying

from mosquitos stealing all of our blood doesnt seem so far-fetched and

crazy as before. Scientists at the University of California

decided to check what would happen if male mosquitoes also drank human

blood. They divided the men into three groups: the first group was

given only sugar to eat, the second - sugar and blood, and the third - only

blood. Those male mosquitoes eating thesweetsugar-only

diet lived a happy and long mosquito life of 28 days. The males who ate

or drank a mixture of blood and sugar, enjoyed sunrises and sunsets for

no longer than 7 days. And those who drank only blood lived bright lives,

but alas even briefer, from but 3 to 5 days before their short lives winked

out. So, our human blood will kill a male mosquito. But this doesnt

mean he will not drink it. The same scientists continued with the experiment,

this tie giving the insects a choice: blood or sugary sweet syrup. Half

of them chose the blood. So, in the end, 50% of male mosquitoes will still

bite you to get a taste of the red stuff they so crave! Add in some aggressive,

pregnant females and well have a real gang of thieves, ready

to drink every last drop of the sweet liquid pumping through your veins. And

dont expect these thieves and hooligans to fail in pursuit of this juicy

loot... At least, that is, according to team of researchers from the

Pasteur Institute in Paris, who discovered just how much these malicious,

bloodthirsty brutes are capable of...

The main thing revealed by these Parisian scientists was the amazing

flexibility of the mosquitos proboscis...the skin-piercing and blood-

sucking mouth-like protuberance that extend from the mosquitos face.

According to the researchers, the proboscis only happens to look hard

and unbending like a needle. When the mosquito pierces your skin, it

doesnt even know exactly where your blood vessels are located. The

flexible proboscis is actually six separate, thin, needle-like mouthparts,

each of which pierces the skin, searching in your flesh, allowing these

tiny vampires to prospect for blood until they finally hit pay dirt. And the

tentacle-like organs at the end of thiselastic needledont leave you a

single chance - you can be sure the mosquito will get what it wants

sooner or later. And when it finally finds a blood vessel, it will

literally feast on your protein rich red juice for no less than an 4 entire

minutes. But wait a second

are we really so inattentive that we cannot feel the foreign intrusion of

this blood sucking proboscis into our bodies for a whole 240 seconds?

Well yes...and this is due to the utter cunning and deviousness of these

tiny bloodsuckers. Even at the first stage of just probing your skin, the

mosquito plants its saliva in you. This prevents inflammation. And if there

is no inflammation - there are no disturbing signals from your body to

warn of this attack and penetration. Moreover, mosquito saliva keeps

blood vessels from constricting, and blood from coagulating, so the

blood just keeps on flowing at full steam. All of this turns a simple bite

into a gala feast for this unholy, demonic insect. But again, we must ask:

how long would it take for one of these thieves to suck out all of a

persons blood... down to the very last drop?

According to one Dr. Daniel Landau from the University of Florida, an

adult has about 1.5 gallons, or 5.7 liters of blood. Imagining a mosquito

drinking so much at one go is difficult...okay, yeah, its impossible,

obviously. But the trick is that these tiny bloodsuckers dont have to drink

all of our blood in order to harm us. There is a good reason why doctors dont

take more than 450 ml or 15 ounces of blood from donors. This is about

8-10% percent of the total volume in our body, and taking more gets into

dangerous territory. According to the American College of Surgeons,

if you lose 15% of your blood, you will begin

to feel some negative side effects, such as a faster heartbeat, rapid

breathing, and mild nausea. Vampires suck about this much blood from

their victims if they plan on keeping them alive, or turning them. At least

thats what some students of physics from Leicester University say. They

figure that if a vampire does not plan to kill a person, but simply wants to

have a little bite, as it were, he will need around 6 minutes for his snack.

In this situation its important for the bloodsucker to feel satiated at 15%.

As if a person loses 20% of their blood, something called hemorrhagic

shock begins. This is a condition in which - if it were you - you pulse

would weaken considerably, your skin would turn deathly pale, and you

will likely faint. And when 40% of your blood is lost, you die. Death from

bleeding out comes very rapidly - even faster than from a vampire bite.

Literally in just 4 to 5 minutes. The cause may be due to an injury from

an accident, being stabbed or cut with a knife, or from a mosquito bite.

After all, if you remember, the duration of a bite is roughly 4 minutes. So

the question is, how many mosquitoes need to start drinking at the same

time to induce a fatal outcome? How many mosquitoes are needed to

suck us to death? Actually, there are more than 3,500 different

species of mosquitoes - and all of them come in different sizes, have

diverse appetites, and possess a variety of distinctive temperaments. So,

lets suppose that you are not very lucky and youve stumbled upon the

most aggressive and largest of all species - the Asian tiger mosquito. Its

hungry females drink 5 microliters per bite. So, for this species, to drink

all the blood from one average adult, 1,100,000tiger mosquitoeswill

be required. It goes without saying...but Ill say it anyway, that its really

unlikely that such a cluster could be found in a single location. On top of

that, there isnt even enough space on the body for all these little

bloodthirsty devils. On average, a person has about 2 square meters, or

11 square feet, of skin covering their body. So only about 6300 of these

bloodsuckers will be able to getlanding rights”. All the rest will have to

line up. And, really... have you ever seen a line of mosquitoes? Thus, in

reality, the risk of dying from mass mosquito bite total blood-loss is

almost non-existent. This is good news. The bad news is that you can

die from a single bite, from a single mosquito. Its little wonder then that

scientists have included these insects on the list of the most dangerous

creatures on Earth. Mosquitoes are carriers of malaria, fever,

and encephalitis. Every year, about 725,000 people die from the bites of

infected mosquitoes. Most often, these victims are residents of cities

with hot and humid climates. There, dehydrated and hungry mosquitoes are

especially cruel. But there is no need to panic.

Yes, its true that no one is entirely safe from a chance meeting with

these notorious, blood-sucking thieves. But the risks can be minimized.

The Journal of the American Association for the Prevention of

Mosquitoes has reported that the main way you attract mosquitoes to

you is when there is too much carbon dioxide in and around your body.

For example, if you exercise in the outdoors and sweat a lot. Or if you

drink beer on a hot summer day. To avoid becoming a victim of

mosquitoes, simply apply special protective chemical agents, or even

just eucalyptus oil. Mosquitos hate the stuff! Researchers claim that

these simple preventive measures will discourage even the hungriest

females from trying to bite you! So - take care of yourself, give us a thumbs

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