Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 24 Number 4 April 2022
Page 4

Scuba Equipped Flies

David Everson

David EversonOccasionally, from the world of nature comes life forms so unusual that if Hollywood were to create some imaginary animal with these features, everyone would think how ridiculous that would be. Yet, in order to confound the skeptic and encourage the child of God, the Almighty Creator gave some animals unbelievable features.

God created Alkali flies (Ephydra hians), the most unusual fly to live in one of the most difficult environments that one could imagine – Mono Lake in California. It is a 13-mile-wide volcanic basin into which water from streams in the surrounding mountains flow, but there are no streams out of which the water can flow. Evaporation is the only way that water leaves, and this increases the salt content of the waters just like it does in the Dead Sea, which suffers the same problem. The waters in Mono Lake are so concentrated with salt and minerals that it’s venomous water that is nearly pure lye. It is twice as salty as sea water in which no fish, frogs, snakes or other usual lake life lives, but God was able to easily make a fly that cannot only live there but thrive.

Alkali flies are one of the important parts of the food chain at Mono Lake and were even food for native Americans who lived in the area long ago. Most of the birds there feed on these flies. The fly lives two of its three life stages entirely submerged. This is not that unusual as many insects do so but not in this type of deadly water. The larval and pupal life stages of alkali flies develop totally under the salty waters where after the larvae hatch, they feed on algae that grows in the lake. The larva has a special lime gland found in very few other organisms that allows it to get rid of all of the salt that it absorbs during it’s time in the poisonous water. Alkali flies shed their skins twice before they are ready to become adults. These flies hold onto underwater clumps of plants or mineral deposits so that they can avoid being eaten by the many birds that live and feed on flies around the lake. The last pair of legs are specialized into clawed prolegs. These make holding onto the underwater structures possible and are vital for survival of larvae.

As the larvae are ready for the adult stage to begin, another most unique feature of this fly appears. A pop top pupa case appears. After the larvae undergo metamorphosis and are ready to emerge as adult flies, the whole top of the pupa case flips up. This sudden action of the top of the case causes the case to float to the surface of Mono Lake. Here the adult fly emerges and goes on to a life above and below the salty waters of the lake.

The adult fly feeds on the algae at the bottom of the lake, and the females need to get back to the bottom of the lake to lay their eggs. This would be impossible for an air breathing adult, but God created the fly with built in Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus or SCUBA gear! The Alkali fly is covered with hairs and a waxy covering that prevents water from getting against the skin. The hairs are able to trap and hold air bubbles for breathing underwater. This natural scuba tank allows the adult fly to walk under the water for up to 15 minutes at a time. This allows time for the female to find a good place to lay her eggs and allows others to graze on the abundant algae in the lake.

At the end of the day, God created a marvelous creature for a most unique environment that challenges the fairy tales of modern evolution story. Praise be to God.

Be Kind

Thomas Baxley

Thomas BaxleyKindness might be one of the most important traits that is missing in many Christians. Real, biblical kindness isn’t about being nice to people you like or to people who are nice to you. Neither is kindness helping people when it is convenient. Going an extra mile (Matthew 5:41) includes doing things for people you may not like and doing tasks you’d rather not do. Loving your neighbor is great, but Jesus told us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). Jesus left us examples by healing someone who was literally out to get Him (Luke 22:51) and later prayed for the forgiveness of those who crucified Him (Luke 23:34). The world does for those who do for them; Christianity is about doing for those who cannot repay (Luke 14:12-14). The world counts the cost and calculates its own benefit before considering helping others; Christians are called to be selfless. The world expects and enjoys being served; Christians are to take joy in serving others (John 13). In a world where you can be anything, be kind and shine the light of Jesus (Matthew 5:14).

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