A farmer in Russia's Sverdlovsk region allegedly fertilized his field with chicken poo and unwittingly unleashed a fly-pocalypse, according to local news reports.
Footage recently captured by state news agency Channel One Russia and shared online June 13 revealed unsettling views from the village of Lazorevy. In the video, piles of dead and near-dead flies cover floors, tables and other surfaces in villagers' homes. Meanwhile, outdoors, seething swarms of flies gather on roads, yards and fields.
Residents of Lazorevy told Channel One that the origins of the "plague" could be traced to a local farmer named Andrei Savchenko, who purportedly spread his fields with tons of fertilizer made from chicken droppings. The feces, which came from a nearby poultry farm, may have contained millions of fly eggs, Channel One reported. [The Science of the 10 Plagues]
In one terrifying scene in the video, a reporter tosses a handful of soil into a crawling fly mass on a dirt path; he then cringes as a cloud of flies erupts into the air to form a buzzing tsunami of insect bodies.
One local resident, seen in the video sweeping up dead flies from the floor of his house, said that every day he would sweep up enough tiny corpses to fill at least half a bucket, according to The Guardian.
"It's unbearable. The flies are everywhere," said another resident.
Dense clouds of flies first appeared in Lazorevy weeks ago, Channel One reported. Since then, villagers and local authorities have turned to pesticides to control the airborne invaders, but since flies breed so quickly, the toxic sprays provided only a brief respite from the insects before their numbers swelled yet again.
Suddenly acquiring millions upon millions of flying-insect neighbors is understandably horrifying, but it also carries a threat from the diseases that flies are known to carry. Villagers are also concerned that widespread and prolonged use of chemicals to kill the flies could harm human health, according to Channel One.
Authorities have opened a criminal investigation to determine if illegal use of hazardous waste could have triggered the swarms. Yet Savchenko insists that he is not responsible for the flies, claiming that "flies have existed for millions of years and they are everywhere," The Guardian reported.
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Originally published on Live Science.