Bill Gates released swarm of mosquitos into audience while talking about malaria
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Featured Image Credit: TED-Ed/YouTube
Anyone invited to a talk by Bill Gates might be best taking a fly swatter.
It seems the Microsoft founder is fond of releasing insects into audiences of his lectures to make a point about the dangers of diseases.
Watch as the tech boffin lets the critters 'roam around' the auditorium:
The world’s fifth richest man’s stunt was to vividly illustrate his fear a deadly mosquito-borne pandemic poses a greater threat to humankind than global war.
He tells the crowd there is no reason 'only poor people should have the experience' of swatting away potentially killer mosquitos.
Gates, 66, did thankfully reassure the crowd that the mosquitos aren’t 'infected'.
The clip has prompted jokes that it’s lucky his talk wasn’t about Covid or he could have released bats to raise fears about its killer potential.
Droves of other viewers of the old footage hailed Bill a 'mad lad' for the stunt.
One said: “This guy has been fighting viruses since windows 95... .”
Another quipped: “I would be so mad if I was in that audience!”
One added: “I love how everyone is clapping and laughing while bill releases mosquitoes into the crowd” – prompting the reply: “They're not clapping they're trying to kill the mosquitoes.”
Gates was making the point that, even if an issue like malaria doesn’t directly affect you, the public should still care.
Gates has said more money had been invested into researching hair loss drugs because, when it comes to baldness, 'rich men are afflicted'.
Malaria is rampant mainly in the world’s poorest areas including Africa, where it’s rife and kills two people every minute.
Bill repeated his animal-release stunt in 2010, using the release of glowing fireflies to serve as an example of a 'gimmicky' solution to the looming global energy shortage crisis – earning him a standing ovation.
Bill has warned disease-carrying mosquitos could trigger a worldwide virus outbreak that could be worse than Ebola and SARS.
Climate change warming the planet is allowing for mosquitos to spread from their usual habitats, posing a risk to millions in the northern hemisphere.
Mosquitoes kill around 830,000 people a year - more than any other animal on the planet.
More than 440,000 of those deaths are from malaria.
Bill and his ex-wife Melinda Gates have used their foundation to focus for years on malaria eradication.
They donated £4.6million to the Oxitec firm in 2010 as it was developing the concept of self-destructing mosquitos.
The business infected female mosquitoes – the only ones that bite – with a hereditary gene that means their offspring couldn’t live outside lab conditions.
Topics: Celebrity, Bill Gates, Health