It was on a cool Tuesday afternoon that the residents of Sinanché, a small town in southeastern Mexico, first heard the hissing. Looking out their windows, the leaves of the fruit trees in their back gardens had been licked clean, while chewed-on lemons, oranges, and hoya covered the grass.
But not a single one of Sinanché’s some 3,100 residents had to look far for the culprit – or culprits, rather. All they had to do was look up.
According to Mirror, Miles-long clouds of locusts have been blanketing the skies above the state of Yucatán this week, flying through shopping plazas, smacking into the windows of apartment complexes, and gobbling up anything green in local parks.
— Infolliteras (@infolliteras) December 5, 2023
Social media users and the Mexican press both asked the same question: Is this a sign the world is coming to an end? In Exodus, locusts were the eighth of 10 plagues sent to carpet Egypt.
One regional outlet even quoted the Book of Revelation 9:3, which reads: ‘And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
‘And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.’
El fin del mundo. Invasión de langostas en Mérida. pic.twitter.com/319CVSGE5W
— Gabriel Merino (@theochemmerida) December 5, 2023
Except these locusts certainly have certainly hurt any and every green thing in sight. Farmers have said the blizzard of bugs has nibbled on their cornfields in the middle of harvest, though officials say the swarm will unlikely lead to any major losses to the agriculture sector.
Some farmers have tried to douse crops with pesticides in a bid to kill the insects. With not enough vegetation to go around, the famished swarms have buzzed into urban areas to eat trees, bushes and flowers.By nightfall, Sinanché’s locals told the Mexican newspaper Por Esto! the locusts had leapt away.