A scientific study has shown the impressive eating habits of fly larvae through a time-lapse video that shows 10,000 maggots devouring an entire pizza in two hours.
The incredible – and somewhat disturbing – footage was released as part of a study, where researchers focused on how black soldier larvae are able to eat so much faster than other scavenging species.
Pools of up to 10,000 maggots were fed a 40cm-diameter pizza and orange slices, sparking a frenzy that was recorded by the scientists.
The findings, published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface revealed the maggots were able to consume their food at speed by forming a ‘fountain’ around the meal.
Authors Olga Shishkov, Michael Hu, Christopher Johnson and David Hu noted that individually, the larvae ate in five-minute bursts and would then become ‘roadblocks’ around the food, essentially stopping other larvae from reaching it.
“To overcome these limitations, larvae push each other away from the food source, resulting in the formation of a fountain of larvae,” the study’s abstract reads.
“Larvae crawl towards the food from below, feed and then are expelled on the top layer.
“This self-propagating flow pushes away potential roadblocks, thereby increasing eating rate.”
According to the study, humans produce 1.3 billion tons of food waste annually – an extraordinary figure that these maggots could possibly help reduce.
“Raising black soldier fly larvae is one promising method to deal with this waste,” the study found.