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Why Do Flies Rub Their Hands Together (Hint: It’s Not Because They’re Diabolical)

Flies May Not Get Much Love, But They Certainly Aren’t ‘Evil’

Why do flies rub their hands together?

I’ve always enjoyed watching these annoying little buzz-dudes as if they’re Mr. Burns plotting corporate domination.

why do flies rub their hands together
Image: IMDB.com

When flies look like they’re rubbing their hands together, they appear mean, sinister, and almost diabolical. Because of this, as well as their penchant for annoying us by buzzing in our ears, they’ve developed quite the reputation as a pest.

But let this be a PSA for flies: they may not be very popular, but they actually don’t mean us any harm. And they are definitely NOT diabolical.

They’re hardly even dirty.

Why Do Flies Rub Their Hands Together?

why do flies rub their hands together
Image: @magsi72_blinks on Instagram

Flies rub their creepy little claw-things together to clean themselves. Which might feel dissonant as they have a reputation for being dirty little buggers. However, because flies rely on ‘compound eyes‘, antennae, and the bristles on both their legs and bodies to sense the world, they need to stay polished.

All of these body parts, from their eyes to their feet are considered ‘sense organs’. As such, they are what helps flies to find food, avoid predators, and basically stay alive.

Because of this, they can’t be dirty! And because flies are always landing on sh*t, dirt is clearly a concern.

Those Little Guys Are Cleaner Than You Think

why do flies rub their hands together

Despite what you may think, flies are actually really clean. While it’s not necessarily awesome for them to land on our food, it probably doesn’t do as much harm as we imagine.

By constantly cleaning the dirt from their claws, they enable themselves to increase chances of survival. They also sharpen their senses, so they’re able to land on a surface and determine if the food they’re touching is edible to them.

In other words, cleanliness is a matter of life or death for the fly.

You’d Probably Keep Clean Too If You Could ‘Taste’ Things With Your Whole Body

why do flies rub their hands together
Image: @andysandsphotography on Instagram

Part of the reason that they clean their legs is because the legs are what touch their food and their legs are how they taste. In fact, their whole bodies are rigged as sense organs. Because of this in combination with their small size, they can attract so much dirt and particles that they have to keep clean all the time.

They’re basically tasting the world with their whole bodies, especially their legs and the bottom of their ‘feet’. If that were the case with you, you’d probably keep super clean as well!

Why do flies rub their hands together? Now you know! They’re clean freaks because if they’re not they won’t be able to sense what’s good for them or bad for them and… they’ll die.

Go tell your friends!

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