The Suprisingly Intricate Science Behind Studying How Flies Fly

Flies are a nuisance. At worst, they’re landing their dirty poop-feet on your or your stuff. At best, they’re targets for your salt shotgun. But flies are secretly really cool, and the scientists that study them have some amazing tools.

Michael Dickinson is one of those scientists, and the New York Times spent some time with him to see what studying the pesky little fliers is all about. It’s way more involved than just setting some fly-traps; Dickinson and his colleagues take high-speed video of flies flying, do brain scans of flying flies, and even have tiny robot flies they use to study fly society. It’s wild.

And even though your average housefly may contain multitudes, no one will blame you if you don’t want to study them yourself. So go ahead and grab that swatter; there are more than enough of the little buggers to go around. [The New York Times]