A petrified women has captured the moment her car was swarmed by “hundreds of thousands” of grasshoppers while she cruised down a motorway.
Maryke Steenkamp was driving to Bloemfontein, South Africa, with her family on January 5 when their entire windscreen became clogged with bugs near the town of Colesberg.
The 20-year-old, who owns a nail salon, claimed the experience was like being repeatedly “hit in the face” as the group were left confounded by the bizarre incident.
She said: “Even though there was a windshield between the grasshoppers and me, my body instinct told me they were going to hit me in the face so I kept dodging.”
“We had to slow down when they started hitting the windshield. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, the smell of those dead grasshoppers was awful.”
“The grasshoppers must have been relocating for days because we drove past a few dead ones on the road and my nephew drove back the next day and he saw a helicopter spraying them with poison because they damage crops like corn, wheat and sorghum.”
“I didn’t realize at first that they were grasshoppers because I have never seen something like this before in my life. I honestly thought it was butterflies at first.”
“We stopped at the nearest petrol station so we could clean the windshield and check the car’s radiator because we were scared it might be blocked but luckily it wasn’t.”
The horrifying video was uploaded online and has since been viewed more than 3.3 million times online.
Many commenters were quick to draw comparisons between Maryke’s footage and popular horror films – describing the swarm as a “biblical plague.”
One commenter wrote: “Looks like someone took their car through the 10 plagues of Egypt.”
While a second added: “Anyone else think of the movie Legion?”
A third penned: “It’s a biblical plague that’s what that is.”
Before a fourth quipped: “Oh lord I bet the car wash place makes a fortune in that area.”
The terrifying incident came as several provinces of the country were placed on high alert as the crop-munching pests were filmed terrorizing vehicles across the country.
Car drivers were advised not to drive with their wipers on after it was deemed that they would likely smear flying locusts across the windshield and reduce visibility even further.
Local media has suggested that the grasshoppers have plagued the majority of South African farms and have cost the government millions of Rands.
In January, the South African National Department of Agriculture estimated the damage costs were equivalent to more than $4.63 million.
Speaking to the BBC in 2020, the coordinator of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Ezra Kipruto Yego, said: “The locusts are not likely to go away soon.
“This is because of erratic weather, which has led to prolonged rains is providing the pests with enough vegetation to keep them fed and breeding.”
This story originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission.