The Amazing Features of The Creatures Around Us
Did you know that the living things that you see everyday have very interesting features?
After creating earth, Allah created many living things on it. One of these living things is the human being. We told you earlier how the human being was created. There are beings other than humans on this planet. These are the animals and plants.
In this section, we will explain the amazing features of some of these animals and plants. Some of these could be animals that you see everyday when you are out for a walk, playing in the backyard or sitting on the terrace. You probably haven't given a lot of thought to their unique features.
When Allah creates people, He gives them some features to constantly remind them of Him. For example, you can see the pictures of a human and a mosquito on this page. The mosquito is thousands of times smaller than the human. But, no matter what, the human is totally defenceless against the mosquito while sleeping in bed. Whatever she does, she will not be able to prevent the mosquito from biting.
Allah has given the mosquito many special features, even though it is a lot smaller than the human being. As a result of this, He wants humans to ponder. He wants them to understand that humans can do nothing, even against a mosquito, without His wish. In this way, human beings should realise that they have absolutely no power in front of Allah.
Now, think about yourself. You go to bed and hear a continuous buzz. This is the buzz of a mosquito. As you can see in the picture the mosquito itself is tiny, but its noise is very strong. This is due to a unique talent that Allah gave it. However, do you know why the mosquito is trying continuously to bite you? Come on now; let's tell you about the interesting adventure of a mosquito.
The Amazing Adventure of The Mosquito
Mosquitoes are creatures with which most humans are familiar because of their visits to our homes during the summer.
Did you ever get the chance to look at a mosquito closely? If not, look at the picture on the previous page and we can study it together. Do you know why the abdomen of this mosquito is red? His abdomen is red because it is filled with the blood of the person on whom the mosquito has landed. Why do mosquitoes suck blood? Many people believe that the mosquitoes feed on blood. In reality, mosquitoes feed on flower nectar.
The female mosquito is the only one that sucks blood, and that is for the sake of the eggs that she carries.
After learning this, you will probably view mosquitoes with different eyes. There are things about mosquitoes that will surprise you even more. As you know mosquitoes are creatures that live on land and that fly, but they grow in water and after they mature, they come out of the water without even getting wet. Did you ever hear of this incredible story? If you did not, then read on and you will be quite surprised.
The Adventure Begins…
The adventure of the small mosquito begins when the mother mosquito leaves her eggs on ponds or wet leaves. Yet, she doesn't leave her eggs at random. She aligns them neatly side-by-side. The eggs resemble a raft. Do you know why the mother mosquito arranges her eggs in this shape?
She gives her eggs this shape because, since they have been left on water, the eggs could easily sink. If they are linked in this way, the risk of sinking will no longer be there. The white eggs that the mother lines up with care immediately begin to darken. Insects and birds don't notice these eggs because their colour is dark. In this way, the eggs are safe from being attacked by insects and birds. So, from where does a tiny mosquito egg learn to change its colour?
Obviously, this tiny egg couldn't have this knowledge. The mosquito that is the mother of this egg also can't know how to change its colour. Allah is the One Who changes the colour of the eggs. Allah is very merciful and is the Protector of the living things He creates. He changes the colour of the mosquito eggs to protect them.
Wait! The mosquito's adventure has only just begun. The little ones inside the egg soon turn into wormlike creatures called larvae. These larvae, as you can see on the next page, stay in water with their heads upside down. How do you think these larvae breathe when their heads are in water? Allah has created them with an organ that allows them to breathe. Do you know what this organ looks like? It looks like the diver's snorkel the child in the next picture is using. This is a tube and the top of it stays out of water. The air that goes through this tube allows the tiny mosquito that is under water to breathe.
However, there is an important problem. This tube stays out of water but even the slightest wave could cause water to enter it and this would mean that the tiny mosquito would drown. This doesn't happen. A sticky substance at the end of this tube prevents water from entering it. Do you think that the larvae you see in the picture could have said, "Let's put a sticky substance at the end of our tube, so that water doesn't get inside"? Could little mosquitoes have such intelligence and talent? Obviously little mosquitoes cannot think of doing such things. Allah is the One Who creates the tube so that they can breathe and the sticky substance at the end of the tube so that water doesn't enter.
As you can see, Allah does not protect just you, He also protects all other living creatures.
Don't think that the adventure is over. It is still going on.
Meanwhile, the little mosquitoes change their skins a couple of times. Finally, they take the shape that you see on the left. It still doesn't look like a mosquito, does it? This phase of the mosquito is called the pupal stage. Inside the shell called the cocoon, the mosquito matures completely and takes the true shape of a mosquito. He becomes ready to fly with his antenna, mouth, feet, wings, and the eyes that make up a large portion of its head. But first, he must get out of the shell.
The Mosquito is Out for the First Time!
The cocoon is first torn from the side of the head. However, the mosquito faces a very important danger before it is born. What if the cocoon fills with water? In that case, the mosquito would drown. However, the head portion of the cocoon is covered with a special sticky substance that prevents the head of the mosquito from coming into contact with water.
This is a very important moment, because the mosquito must stand on water on the tips of its feet, and it must not wet its wings. Even the slightest wind could cause the mosquito to tip over in the water and die. The mosquito manages this with great skill, because Allah created him with this talent.
How is the Mosquito able to See You and Sting You at Night?
Did you ever wonder? It is dark at night and you are lying down on your bed. You are covered with your quilt. Only a little part of your arm is exposed. Yet the mosquito comes around in the darkness of night; it sees and stings that small part of you. So, while you are unable to see anything at night, how does the mosquito manage to see?
Mosquitoes are able to see the living things around them with the heat that they radiate, which is a kind of light invisible to us. Since this type of sight is not reliant on visible light, they can find our blood vessels even during the darkness of the night.
This is a unique talent. Due to this, scientists were able to invent a camera that captures images by means of heat. Even if it is dark, this camera images the surroundings as if it were daylight. Can you imagine? People copying a small mosquito! Could a mosquito possibly know more than a human, especially could it know more than a scientist? Of course not! Allah has given the mosquito extraordinary abilities. People are in awe of these extraordinary talents and try to copy them. They invented the aeroplane by copying birds. People have copied many other things after seeing them in nature. For now, let us continue the adventure of the mosquito.
The Mosquito at Work!
The technique that the mosquito uses to suck blood is so meticulous that it astonishes people.
First, the mosquito lands on a target. For example, your arm… Then, with its needle-like tube, it chooses a suitable spot for itself. The needle of a mosquito resembles a syringe and it is protected with a special sheath. During blood suction, the needle is released from this sheath. Many people think that the mosquito pierces the skin by inserting its needle into it, whereas the mosquito uses a different method to do so. It moves its lower jaw back and forth, just like a saw and, with the help of its lower jaw, cuts the skin. It inserts its needle into this opening and when the needle reaches the blood vessel, it starts to suck blood.
You could ask, "Can mosquitoes become doctors?" After reading this page you will say, "They really are doctors!"
When you get a cut, after a while, your blood stops dripping of its own accord. This is because blood can coagulate and stop flowing. Allah has created blood with this unique quality to protect human beings. If blood did not coagulate on its own, the tiniest cut on our finger or a wound from a fall while running could cause you to die since you wouldn't be able to stop the bleeding.
This is quite a vital benefit for us. However, mosquitoes might not be too happy about it. Why? Because, just when the mosquito starts to suck our blood, it would harden and not go up the mosquito's tube. If this were so, the mosquito would not have existed, because none of the mosquitoes would have been able to feed protein to their eggs. Again, Allah has created mosquitoes with a unique skill that is just right for this process. How? Before the mosquito begins to suck blood, it secretes a special liquid, given it by Allah, into the blood vessel of the person on whom it has landed. In this way, the blood in that area doesn't coagulate and so the mosquito is able to suck it.
This liquid has another rare quality. While the mosquito does all these things, you won't feel a thing, because this substance numbs the area that the mosquito cuts. This liquid is just like a anaesthetic the dentist or surgeon uses. Doctors administer a certain drug so that you won't feel pain, and you don't. You see, the mosquito works just like a doctor. First, it anaesthetises and then it sucks.
After the mosquito bites you, you feel a little itching and swelling. The reason for this itching and swelling is this liquid.
You might think that all these things take a long time. The mosquito, however, manages most of these in a very short time. You feel the bite of the mosquito only after it has finished its job and packed away its equipment.
Now, let's think together. The mosquito is as large as the tip of a pencil, but the jobs it manages are very important and complex. Do you think that it is possible for a mosquito to think all of these things through? To prevent the flow of a human's blood, to anaesthetise the area that it cuts so that it doesn't cause pain, to make an eye that can see easily even at night, to arrange its eggs in the shape of a raft so that they don't sink… It could not invent any of these, right?
Allah has created every living being with the features most suitable for it so that they can feed themselves, protect themselves and survive. This shows just how caring, merciful and protective Allah is. If a mosquito is able to continue its life, for example, then this is because Allah is protecting it. Allah neither misses anything, nor does He forget. This is why everything that a mosquito needs is complete. Nothing is missing.
The Fly is One of The Best Flying Creatures on Earth
We have so far mentioned the special features of the mosquito. In reality, all the insects that we see around us have interesting features. For example, flies are able to fly superbly from the moment that they are born. We can even say that, when it comes to flying, flies are the most talented creatures.
A fly can flap its wings about 500 to 1000 times per second. Stop here and think for a moment. The frame of time that we mention is not an hour and not a minute; it is just a second. That is, it is about the same time as the time in which you close and open your eyes. You see; the fly has flapped its wings at least 500 times while you closed and opened your eyes.
Now think about the following: What would you do if you were asked to open and close your arms only 10 times and not 500 times? Without a doubt it is impossible for you to manage this 500 times with the type of muscles your body has. The fly, with its extraordinary body muscles, manages this task that neither you nor mature adults can perform. Moreover, flies do not feel any difficulty while flapping their wings; their wing muscles do not wear out. This is because Allah has created them with such a magnificent system.
If you were to watch a fly closely, you would witness that it experiences no difficulty while taking off; this may not have seemed surprising to you and you may have taken this for granted. However, this is a very important and difficult move.
You know quite a lot about helicopters and aeroplanes. Well, do you know how long humans have been able to use them? The machines that are able to fly today were developed only during the last century. This means that a hundred years ago, there were no aeroplanes or helicopters like the ones that exist today. Engineers and technicians researched for a very long time; they worked for many years and developed this machinery only a short while ago. Look, this is very important: Today, none of the machines that fly have the complete ability to take off like flies do. This feature exists in some helicopters to some extent. However, even after all these lengthy efforts and the strong specially-developed engines, these helicopters still do not have the ability to fly as perfectly as flies.
Now, examine the first fly that you come upon. See what you notice: you will notice especially that the fly doesn't fly in a straight line. The fly can take off towards any destination it wants by making manoeuvres. It can, for example, zigzag in the air, and make abrupt turns. It can land on any surface, no matter how unsuitable. It can even land on ceilings or vertical walls with ease.
No flying machine can manage all these things. Try to imagine in your mind's eye the take-off of an aeroplane and a fly, and decide which one is more successful.
Now, this question may have occurred to you: Who teaches the fly all these moves? Again, what we see here is the presence of Allah the Most Powerful. Allah is the One Who has given the fly such immaculate flying ability.
The Tiny Prodigies That Produce Honey
Do you know who makes the honey on your breakfast table?
You will probably reply, "yes!" We all know that bees make honey. However, do you know just how much these bees work to make the honey from the moment they are born until the moment they die, or just how giving and intelligent they are? Come on; let's study together how Allah has created the bees…
In a beehive, there is one queen, a few hundred male bees and a workforce of thousands of infertile female bees, the worker bees. (The total number of bees in the beehive can reach 80,000). The worker bees perform all the activities inside the hive. Some duties of the worker bees are as follows:
Building the honeycomb, cleaning and protecting the hive, feeding the queen bee and the male bees, caring for the bee larvae, and feeding them with the royal jelly, honey and pollen, building cells for the eggs to grow in, cleaning these rooms, maintaining the heat and moisture inside the hive, collecting nectar, pollen, water and resin, etc.
We had mentioned earlier the life story of a mosquito. Now, let's take a look together at what type of life the worker bee leads.
A worker bee lives between 4 to 6 weeks. For 3 weeks after its birth it lives inside the hive. Its first job is to take care of the growing bees. It feeds the baby bees with the honey and pollen it takes from storage.
When the worker bee becomes 12 days old, suddenly, beeswax starts to be produced in its body. The beeswax is extremely important for bees, because the bees build their honeycombs with beeswax. You will see the picture of a honeycomb when you turn the page.
Isn't it neat? Could you have made such neat hexagons side by side without a ruler? Furthermore, take a blank piece of paper and start to draw hexagons from one end of the paper while a friend starts to draw from the other. Were you able to come up with a neat honeycomb shape, right in the middle of the paper, without leaving any spaces? You weren't able to, right?
This is something that even adults are unable to manage. Your teachers, parents, even your grandparents would not be able to achieve such a task. To be able to do this, you would need some instruments and you would have to do very complicated calculations. However, the tiny bee, even when it is just 12 days old, can make such a perfect honeycomb. What's more, it does this without using any instruments.
All the bees start making hexagonal honeycombs from the corners, and meet in the middle. You might have noticed that the honeycombs are the same height. How can a bee manage such tasks that even humans are not able to carry out and with such excellence? You see Allah is the One Who lets the bee do these things. Allah has created the bee with this talent.
The responsibilities of the worker bee are not just these. Among its duties, until it is 3 weeks old, are storing royal jelly and pollen in the honeycombs, keeping the beehive clean and throwing dead bees and garbage outside the beehive. During the last stage of its 3-week duty, it starts its last task of serving as a security guard and protecting the beehive from enemies. When the three weeks are over, the bee becomes skilled enough to collect royal jelly, pollen and water.
The worker bee becomes exhausted after working non-stop for another 2 to 3 weeks and dies.
During their brief lives, the bees work non-stop. In addition, no one teaches them the work that they are supposed to do. They start to work straight after birth. Just think, if a new-born baby were to get out of its bed, first make its bed, wash up, and then begin to take care of the other babies; wash them, feed them, dress them. Isn't this just impossible? Yet, bees manage such an impossible task, because Allah has created them with the capabilities to do so.
The Honey Bees that Dance
Did anyone ever tell you that bees have a dance? Some bees look for a food source outside the beehive. After flying about all day long, they find their own source and take with them as much royal jelly as they can, and then they return to their hive. There is still a lot more royal jelly left at the source but the bee cannot collect it all without the help of the other bees. The scout bee keeps the location of the food source in mind and quickly returns to the hive to gather its friends. It starts to make moves that resemble the number 8 on the honeycomb. The numbers of times the bee turns or shakes its abdomen are signals that indicate the distance of the food source from the hive. By the end of the dance, the other bees have understood the location of the food source and they quickly leave for the flowers that are their new food source.
Where do you think tiny bees have learnt how to communicate by dancing? Of course, the One Who has given them this knowledge is their Creator and Protector, Allah.
Did You Know that Bees Make Honey for Us as Well?
Bees can produce much more honey than they need. As you know, bees make honey in their abdomens. Their tiny bodies make enough honey for themselves as well as for people.
But why are the bees so giving? Why don't they just make honey for themselves rather than thinking of our needs as well? Honey is very nutritious for people. This is the reason why Allah has created bees with the ability to make honey and has ordered them to make it in great quantities. Allah says in a verse in the Qur'an:
Your Lord revealed to the bees: "Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect. Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow." From inside them comes a drink of varying colours, containing healing for mankind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect. (Surat an-Nahl: 68-69)