Gigantic swarm of flying ants spotted over Kent coast

The latest headlines in your inbox twice a day Monday – Friday plus breaking news updates

A gigantic swarm of flying ants so large it can be seen from space has been spotted over Britain’s south-east coast.

The Met Office’s weather radar picked up on the ominous cloud of ants, which is thought to be around 50 miles wide, hovering over Kent and Sussex.

Smaller swarms can also be seen gathered over London.

The Met Office shared radar footage of the swarms on Twitter and said: “It’s not raining in London, Kent or Sussex, but our radar says otherwise…

“The radar is actually picking up a swarm of #flyingants across the southeast.

“During the summer ants can take to the skies in a mass emergence usually on warm, humid and windless days #flyingantday’.”

A spokesman for the weather service meanwhile said there were likely “thousands” of ants within the swarm.

He added: “It’s not unusual for larger swarms to be picked up.

“A similar thing happened almost exactly a year ago on flying ant day.

“On days like today, when it is sunny, the radar detects the swam but we are able to see they are not the same shape as water droplets, and in fact look more insect-like.”

Flying ant day occurs when males and new queens leave the nest to mate, with many ant colonies doing so on the same day.

According to the Royal Society of Biology, there is not always one flying ant day, but as many as 96 per cent of days between June and September flying ants are spotted.