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Darwin's description of a swarm of locusts in Argentina

Shortly before we arrived at this place, we observed to the south a ragged cloud of a dark reddish-brown color. At first we thought that it was smoke from some great fire on the plains; but we soon found that it was a swarm of locusts. They were flying northward; and with the aid of a light breeze, they overtook us at a rate of ten or fifteen miles an hour. The main body filled the air from a height of twenty feet, to that, as it appeared, of two or three thousand above the ground; 'and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle:' or rather, I should say, like a strong breeze passing through the rigging of a ship. The sky, seen through the advanced guard, appeared like a mezzotino engraving, but the main body was impervious to sight; they were not, however, so thick together, but that they could escape a stick waved backwards and forwards. When they alighted, they were more numerous than the leaves in the field, and the surface became reddish instead of being green: the swarm having once alighted, the individuals flew from side to side in all directions... . This species of locusts closely resembles, and perhaps is identical with the famous Gryllus migratorius of the East.

-- From Charles Darwin, Journal of Researches. [New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1891]