4 April 2018

Does this really work?

On our trip into the Yucatan Peninsula yesterday, we went to a local place to eat. It was a very large outside restaurant. While eating, we noticed something curious. Look near the roof at the edges. You see those plastic looking bags seemingly hanging with water in it? Well, they were actually plastic bags with water in it and they were hung up all over the edges of the roof.

Having flagged down the nearest waiter, I asked him what that was all about. Got a very interesting answer. Apparently they put it up to keep the flies away. I was wondering whether it was merely a custom or there was any reason for it. Before I could ask, the waiter explained to me that the flies get scared since everything looks bigger in it and thru it (the rounded edges of the water magnify things).

“Do you see any flies around?”, he asked.
“Nope”, I admitted.
“Mayan technology”, he proudly declared and went away.

Last evening I was researching on the Internet about it. I remember the craze for some purple colored water in villages in Bengal some time ago to keep away mosquitoes or something. I had seen it while running and had similarly asked a house owner about it. That was a complete misconception, I had found out while researching.

This one though is not so clear cut. Snopes (one of my sites to do fact check) left it as “Not determined”. Some people absolutely swear by its effectivity. Some claim positive bias (the ones who see a difference report enthusiastically, the ones that don’t simply move on to other things instead of reporting it).

In any case, that was an interesting learning…

Posted April 4, 2018 by Rajib Roy in category "Vacations


  1. By Bijit Bose on

    Interesting! By the way, those purple or blue liquids were to scare away dogs in a very state government way – the white liquid is yet to come.

  2. By RipuDaman Singh on

    So if a fly was to enter the pavilion (probabilistically some would), it will be stuck inside since going out it will face the same deterrent. So you should have seen a few flies in there had there been actual flies in the area.

  3. By Manajit Sengupta on

    I guess you have your vacation fully planned but if you have time you could check out the Sian Kaan Biosphere reserve and drive through it to Punta Allen. Your butt might get a little sore but it is worth it.


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