Science Questions

Why are flies so difficult to swat?

Sun, 21st Dec 2008

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Mark asked:

Why are flies so difficult to swat?


Helen - Flies are difficult to swat for lots of reasons. Their eyes work much more quickly than our and they also have a clever way of lining themselves up before they get hit because they can hear where the noise of you coming at them is coming from. So they get ready to jump before they actually do jump. So they go in the right direction.


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Mark Stipetic asked the Naked Scientists: Why are flies so difficult to swat? Do they just have very fast reactions or is there some other factor at work? What do you think? Mark Stipetic, Sun, 19th Oct 2008

Flies can see a lot more 'quickly' (can't think of a better way to put it) than we can.  That is to say, when we look at a T.V. screen or a film, 25-30 frames per second is enough to produce smooth motion whereas a fly, watching the same film, would see each individual frame clearly.  To flies, we seem to be moving in slow-motion. LeeE, Sun, 19th Oct 2008

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