By A. O.
The Mosquito: A Brand-New Body
Leaving behind its watery world and setting forth in a new world, the mosquito is now an entirely different creature. The new body of this creature is full of countless miracles, as in the previous stages of development.
On close examination of the mosquito’s body, the signs of very special creation are evident in every detail. Now let’s get acquainted with these miracles by dealing with the mosquito’s structure section by section.
The mosquito’s body is divided into 3 sections: the head, the thorax and the abdomen.
A fully equipped control center: the head
There are two feelers on the upper side of the mosquito’s head. These feelers are rich in sensory cells and are very sensitive receptors. The male mosquito’s feelers are much more sensitive than those of the female, because at mating time, thanks to these feelers, they can perceive the frequency of the female’s wing beat in the midst of a multitude of sounds.
In the female mosquito between the feelers, there is a tube for sucking blood. This sucking tube does not have a simple structure; contrarily it contains a somewhat complex system. In fact, it is the casing for very special cutting and vacuuming mechanism. One of the names for this mechanism called the “labium.”
When the mosquito bites, this sheath folds back and the cutting mechanism goes into action. This mechanism consists of 6 parts. Four of these are very effective for cutting knives. They are strong enough to cut as easily into the skin of a frog or the scales of a snake as into the human skin.
The other two parts join together to make an empty tube. The mosquito sticks this tube into the wound opened by the knives enabling it to suck the blood of its victim.
One of the knives numbs the tissue with a salivary fluid it pours into the wound. This is a kind of local anesthetic. In this way, the mosquito cuts into the skin and you don’t feel a thing as it sucks your blood. As this fluid also prevents the blood from clotting, the mosquito is able to carry on sucking the blood. It is again this fluid that later causes irritation and swelling.
This section joined to the head of the mosquito is where the mosquito’s six legs are appended to, as well as a pair of wings. These wings are covered in scales and have veins passing through them.
Some varieties of insects have two pairs of wings. However, in place of the second set of wings the mosquito has stubby knobs that vibrate during the flight to help provide stability and balance.
The mosquito has a hairy body. On the head, wings and legs there are scales like the scales of a butterfly.
The abdomen, which can withstand pressure
Mosquitoes’ bodies have a great capacity to expand when sucking blood. They can suck an average of 2.8 mg (0.0001 ounces) of blood in one go, which is greater than their average body weight—2.5 mg (0.00008 ounces) (This is like someone weighing 70 kg (154 pounds) eating more than his or her own weight in food at a time and in a short space of time). How is it that an insect with such a delicate build can drink its own weight in blood? What prevents the mosquito from bursting to death from drinking such an excess of blood?
As in other bloodsuckers, the mosquito has a specially designed digestive system. There are tension sensors that tell mosquitoes when to suck blood and when to stop. These work in conjunction with the digestive system.
The skin on the mosquito’s abdomen is composed of a flexible and transparent membrane. When blood is drawn in, this membrane opens out to enable the abdomen to expand. By this means the mosquito can drink as much blood as it pleases.
Experiments have shown that if the tension sensors in the mosquito’s abdomen are removed, the mosquito explodes from sucking blood. In addition to all the systems pointed out so far, the existence of a capacity control system in the mosquito’s abdomen is further evidence of the supreme art of creation.
People use similar systems to the ones found in bloodsucking insects such as the mosquito in water storage facilities. Water drawn by pumps is transferred to storage containers, which have special sensors to control the water level. When the water in the storage container reaches the maximum level, the pump automatically stops.
Now let’s draw a rough comparison between the two systems: The water motors usually weigh dozens of kilos or more. In addition, they are extremely noisy and need an enormous amount of energy to function. In time, the connectors to the pipe and the gaskets wear out and the water starts leaking. Or else, they require maintenance for reasons such as rusting.
The suction system in the mosquito’s head is smaller than one cubic millimetre. What’s more, the pump does not require maintenance even once in the lifetime of the mosquito. This system never wears out or stops functioning. There is never any dysfunction in the system. Pumping systems, which are the product of high technology, are extremely primitive in comparison with this perfect mechanism.
Without a doubt, neither mosquitoes nor other insects possessing these perfect systems can create them at will. There is a supreme Creator Who creates this perfect system in them. This Creator is God, Who controls all. The knowledge of our Lord is contained in everything. It is God, the Lord of the Universe, Who controls all and creates everything to perfection. This is expressed as follows in a verse of the Qur’an:
This is God’s creation. Show me then what those besides Him have created! The wrongdoers are clearly misguided. (Luqman 31:11)
Contrary to popular belief, mosquitoes do not feed on blood. The mosquito obtains its nourishment from nectar. Male mosquitoes do not suck any blood throughout their lives. However, female mosquitoes suck blood to supply the need for the protein of the eggs during the egg-laying stage. It takes 3-4 days to digest the blood they suck. Then the bloodsucking operation is repeated. For female mosquitoes, this cycle lasts to the end of the egg-laying phase.
Sensitive receptors to sense the location of prey
If you are asleep in a pitch-dark room at midnight, a mosquito can find you easily. Even if your whole body is under the covers with only your hand sticking out, the mosquito will instantly find that piece of flesh and take blood from that source. Even though the subject is one that is distasteful and which people may not wish to give thought to, we must still ask how this animal manages to do this. What is the secret that enables it to seize its prey in the dark?
The answer reveals another superior design to us: The mosquito is equipped with a complex system that enables it to find its prey. This system consists of receptors sensitive to heat, gas and various chemical substances. By this means the mosquito can easily identify its prey in the dark.
The use of heat-sensitive receptors is a somewhat effective method that is frequently used nowadays in military technology, particularly in the dark. A very sensitive heat receptor is also found in the body of the mosquito. This organ, known as the “tarsi,” is located in the forelegs of the mosquito. When these organs detect the heat waves coming from a body, the mosquito is drawn by them and reaches its target unerringly. Furthermore, thanks to this heat detector, it can easily find the regions under the skin where there is the most blood, as veins are warmer than tissue.
In other words, a mosquito entering a pitch-dark bedroom can accurately perceive the exposed parts of a sleeping person’s body, even to the point of finding the veins close to the skin.
Another factor that attracts the mosquito is carbon dioxide gas. This gas present in the breath of humans and animals is particularly attractive to mosquitoes and serves as an important clue in the finding of prey. In an experiment to show the effect of carbon dioxide on mosquitoes, two humanoid models were placed two meters (6.5 feet) apart. Then carbon dioxide was emitted at breathing pace by means of a mechanism installed in the mouths of the models. Immediately mosquitoes began circling the heads of the models.
The cocktail of amino acids, amines, ammonia and lactic acid found in the blood also attracts the mosquito; even when the concentration of these substances is diluted 2,000 times, the liquid is 5 times more attractive to mosquitoes than pure water. Moisture is another important factor to attract mosquitoes.
In short, the mosquito is like a warplane loaded with heat, gas, humidity and smell detectors. Even if it cannot see its prey in the dark, it is equipped with superior systems for unerringly finding it in the dark. It can identify the location of its prey from a distance of approximately 25 to 30 meters (82-98 feet).
It is obvious that such a special structure cannot be formed as the result of a chain of coincidences. Let’s examine the impossibility of this.
We know that the female mosquito needs to suck blood from her victims to satisfy the protein needs of the eggs. In order to obtain this blood, it is necessary to find a victim.
If we take the claims of evolutionary theory seriously, the perceptive skills of the mosquito detailed above must have been acquired in stages. But the mosquito doesn’t have the time to wait thousands of years for its body to acquire a heat receptor by chance. If it didn’t have this system of perception from the beginning, the mosquito would not find its prey and the eggs would die. That is to say, it is not a question of development over time.
Let’s repeat once more the receptors possessed by the mosquito; heat, humidity, gas and chemical substance receptor systems. And in addition to these, vibration feelers for perceiving the opposite sex.
The fact that a mosquito is equipped with such an effective receptive system means that its needs are catered for from the first phase of its development. The Creator of this perfect system Who brought the mosquito into existence is God. Just as God has provided for every living thing on Earth, He has also given them the necessary skills and equipped them to make use of this provision. This fact is made known as follows in a verse of the Qur’an:
There is no creature on the Earth which is not dependent upon God for its provision. He knows where it lives and where it dies. They are all recorded in a Glorious Book. (Hud 11:6)
Biting the prey
When the mosquito senses one of the stimuli such as heat, gas, moisture and chemical secretions, it heads straight for its prey. The mosquito lands on its prey so gently that in most cases it is not even felt. Then it finds the most appropriate place to pierce using a pair of devices located in the mouth part, which are called “palpi.”
The first incision is made with the upper and lower jaw. The four cutters in the sucking tube cut deep into the skin. The sensory organs of heat, smell, taste and touch play an important role in establishing where the capillaries are concentrated under the skin. After a few attempts, the mosquito finds the vein.
The mosquito sucks the blood by sticking the tube into the hole it has opened in the skin. Thanks to this tube it can penetrate a small vein and drink blood directly. Or it can drink the blood that accumulates in the surrounding tissue when the skin is cut.
Usually, the piercing needles go into the skin vertically. The most important characteristic of the mosquito’s needle is that it can bend at a certain depth. Thanks to this remarkable feature, the needle can easily move around under the skin, even to the point of being able to extend parallel to the skin. In this way, the needle is able to get to the places where there is the highest concentration of veins.
However, here a serious problem awaits the mosquito. As soon as a mosquito bites, a kind of defence system goes into operation in the human body. An enzyme that prevents microbes from entering the body and stops the bleeding is secreted in the region of the wound. This enzyme enables the blood to clot. Once the blood starts clotting it is impossible for the mosquito to drink any blood. (Coagulation is caused by the transformation of fibrinogen, one of the plasma proteins, into fibrin.)
But the mosquito acts as if it is aware of this and injects an anti-coagulant secretion into the wound from within one of its sharp knives. Thus the enzyme in the blood is rendered ineffective and the clotting stops.
What’s more, with this secretion the mosquito even gives a local anesthetic to its victim, numbing the area it cuts into. Accordingly, the victim is not aware that its skin has been cut and its blood sucked. It is this secretion that causes an allergic reaction in the skin and causes the skin to itch.
In the few seconds in which the above takes place, a person cannot even realize that he has been bitten by a mosquito.
A female sucks about 2.8 mg (0.0001 ounces) of blood in one go, and this takes about 2.5 minutes. When the sucking finishes, the blood is sent to the midgut by suction pumps located in the fore-section of the digestive system. The abdomen fills with blood as far as the digestive system. It takes 3-4 days to digest the blood and then the sucking process is repeated.
If we stop and think for a while about all these processes, we will come to some important conclusions.
The mosquito doesn’t just have a superior receptive system and cutting and sucking mechanism to get the blood it needs; it also has chemical knowledge. As explained above, the mosquito uses a secretion, which prevents the blood from coagulating. What’s more, this secretion protects it from an enzyme in the defence system of a body unknown to it and of which it has no intimate knowledge. This secretion even has the property of anesthetizing the living tissues it cuts like a surgeon.
In light of this information one can’t help asking these questions:
-How does the mosquito know that blood coagulates?
-How has it learnt that cutting into the living tissue of its victim causes pain and how has it developed a numbing technique to get around this problem?
-Giving a local anesthetic before an operation is a technique that has been developed with the help of medical knowledge. How has the mosquito acquired this knowledge?
-Since it is extremely difficult to synthesize this fluid even under laboratory conditions, how has the mosquito acquired it?
-Is it pure coincidence that this fluid is to be found exactly where it is most needed in the cutting knives that will rupture the skin?
-How can it be explained that there is an excellent mechanism in a tube that is 0.1 cm (0.03 inch) in length with a radius of approximately 0.01 cm (0.003 inches) found in a creature no more than a centimetre long, and that every mosquito without exception has always had such a system and knowledge?
The answer is obvious: The mosquito cannot be the genius with information on the chemical composition of the human body that evaluates this information and develops solutions in its own body. It is evident that the system that enables this secretion to exist in the mosquito and to be injected into the veins of its prey can only be the creation of a Supreme Creator Who has the most detailed knowledge of the anatomy of both humans and mosquitoes.
It is revealed in the Qur’an that our Lord is the “Lord of the worlds.” “World” is used in the plural sense to mean “different worlds, different dimensions or different orders and systems.” The word “Lord” encompasses meanings such as “educator, rearer, organizer, law-giver, master.” The incredibly difficult “operation” that the mosquito carries out in the human body is a small world within it. The author of the superior “design” in this world, the details of which we are unaware and are only just beginning to discover by means of science, is our Lord, God.
The duty of man, who can easily be defeated even by this little creature, is to try to see the signs God created in different worlds, and to acknowledge the might of the Lord, as it behooves Him. God calls on man to reflect on this subject in verses of the Qur’an as follows:
Humanity! An example has been made, so listen to it carefully. Those whom you call upon besides God are not even able to create a single fly, even if they were to join together to do it. And if a fly steals something from them, they cannot get it back. How feeble are both the seeker and the sought! They do not render to God the homage due to Him. Yet God is Powerful, Almighty. (Al-Hajj 22:73-74)
Superior flying technique
The wings of the mosquito beat approximately 500 times a second. This is why the sound is perceived by the human ear as a buzzing sound. This rate, which seems like a physical impossibility to us, has been established as a result of very sensitive measurements and is a truly astonishing figure.
An example can help us to understand the subject more easily. If someone’s arms were tied to a machine and made to flap 500 times a second, the outcome would not be favourable at all: The shoulder joint would rupture, the connections would burn, all the ligaments holding the arm together would snap and the arm would be completely disabled. If the movement was made for more than a second, the shoulder would be dislocated and the arm would break off. This movement, which is impossible for humans, is part of the daily life of the mosquito.
Naturally, this miraculous ability is realized with the help of various support systems innate in the mosquito.
First and foremost, the muscles and connectors that make the wings flap have to be extremely strong and resilient.
The second condition is that these muscles have to be provided with energy. As we know, cells use oxygen to synthesize energy. Resilience increases in direct proportion to an increased capacity for the use of oxygen.
In the human body, oxygen from the lungs is taken into the blood whereby it is carried to the body cells. The reason a person gets tired when running is that the necessary oxygen is not carried to the cells in time. Another reason is the appearance of lactic acid in the cells of the muscles. If the cells cannot get rid of this acid, a feeling of fatigue ensues.
This situation is somewhat different for mosquitoes. In order to beat their wings, which are nearly the size of their bodies, 500 times a second, the mosquito needs a great deal of oxygen.
Accordingly, the mosquito’s respiratory system is created specifically to meet this requirement. The respiratory system consists of a respiratory tube that reaches almost every cell. As this tube makes direct contact with the outside air, the cells are able to get oxygen without an intermediary substance. And waste substances can also be passed from the cells into the atmosphere by means of these tubes. This is how the mosquito manages to flap its wings thousands of times a minute without tiring.
The fact that the mosquito can beat its wings so rapidly gives it many advantages in flying. It can fly up and down vertically and can move forwards and backwards with ease. The mosquito is like a perfect machine that has many flight features superior to those of a helicopter or a plane.
For a helicopter or a plane to fly, especially refined fuel is used. Before each flight, it has to be refuelled with this somewhat expensive fuel. On the other hand, the mosquito gets all its energy from the nectar it feeds on. Planes and helicopters undergo maintenance before every flight, and the engine parts are periodically renewed. Encountering no such problems, the mosquito keeps on flying throughout its life, thanks to the strength of the muscles on its back.
Present-day aircraft have acquired their current features as a result of years of research and lengthy experimentation. The pool of knowledge utilized has accumulated over hundreds of years. At every stage of development, human brainpower and design has been employed. But however advanced technology may be, man is way behind the flight technology found in nature. No existing technology can make a machine with the dimensions and the flight characteristics of a mosquito.
It should not be forgotten that the being we are comparing with machines is a 10 mm (0.4 inches) creature composed of millions of small living parts (cells). With its circulation, excretory and nervous systems, a heart that constantly beats, eyes that see, its receptor systems and millions of cells synthesizing proteins, it is a far more complicated fusion than a plane or a helicopter.
When asked how planes or helicopters are made, people will say that they are made by senior engineers in advanced factories. They know only too well how ridiculous and illogical it would be to claim that these aircraft were formed as a result of the chance fusion of metals. But a percentage of the same people will claim that the mosquito, which is not even brought into the debate as being superior to the two types of aircraft, came into existence as the result of “coincidences occurring in the evolutionary process,” in other words, without any kind of planner. For it is difficult for them to accept the existence of a planner, that is to say, the existence of God, because that would entail cleansing themselves of their “ideological” reasoning, which would be contrary to their interests.
They are only deceiving themselves in so doing. The mosquito is an insect that came into existence after going through a number of miraculous phases in a swamp or a pool of water. Whatever stage technology may develop to, it cannot bring a living thing into existence, not even a single fly. Because creation is the preserve of God, the Lord of the worlds. And every creation is evidence of His existence. The judgment was given in the Qur’an,
… Those whom you call upon besides God are not even able to create a single fly, even if they were to join together to do it… (Al-Hajj 22:73)
is valid for all eternity for those who deny His existence, and shows the extent to which they contradict and deceive themselves.
Taken with slight modifications from the book: The Miracle in the Mosquito, the chapter titled: A Brand-New Body. www.harunyahya.com
A. O. is a Turkish writer and author.