Chinese social media users around the country have reported unusual sightings of dense flocks of crows and a mass of giant overwintering mosquitoes, and want to know why such things are happening. Several netizens suggested answers based on ancient Chinese knowledge.
Most of the videos showing flocks of crows are from Yichang, Jingzhou, and Hanchuan, cities in Hubei Province—epicenter of the Wuhan coronavirus. All were videoed and posted on Jan. 28.
In the Hanchuan City video, a large, dense flock of crows was videotaped flying around and cawing loudly. One observer said, “This situation has never occurred before.”
In a similar video from Yichang City, a man exclaimed, “Oh my God, it is said that abnormal scenes predict something unusual is about to happen.”
After those videos were viewed on the internet, netizens from other cities, including Jiaozuo and Puyang, in Hunan Province, and Beijing and Tianjin, wrote that they had observed similar phenomena recently.
A netizen from Beijing wrote: “I saw an even larger flock of crows in Beijing’s Haidian district last month. There were at least 1,000 crows.”
Someone from the online community provided a possible answer: “The crow is an eater of carrion. The elderly say that crows seem to anticipate death because they can smell it, even before a person dies. In other words, they can smell the odor of a dying person; but we humans cannot. They will then circle around this person waiting for him to die. That is why in Chinese culture crows are considered inauspicious and are always linked with death.”
Giant Overwintering Mosquitoes
A resident of Beijing noticed a large number of oversized mosquitoes clustered underneath a highway ramp in the city’s Haidian District on Jan. 25.
— Raymond (@Raymond999USA) January 27, 2020
“This has never been seen before. It is very abnormal indeed. Can a research team in the related field come and examine it?” he asked.
Several other Beijing residents commented that Beijing is very cold in winter and mosquitoes are usually not visible because they hide in unobtrusive places. Adult mosquitoes, like the ones in the video, usually don’t emerge until April.
Some pointed out that ancient wisdom tells us that when there are a large number of overwintering mosquitoes or when they emerge in the early spring, they will likely bring about an outbreak of contagious disease.