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Flies have often been used in mythology and literature to represent agents of death and decay, such as the Biblical fourth plague of Egypt, or portrayed as nuisances (e.g., in Greek mythology, Myiagros was a god who chased away flies during the sacrifices to Zeus and Athena, and Zeus sent a fly to bite the horse Pegasus causing Bellerophon to fall back to Earth when he attempted to ride to Mount Olympus), though in a few cultures the connotation is not so negative (e.g., in the traditional Navajo religion, Big Fly is an important spirit being). Emily Dickinson's poem "I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died" also makes reference to flies in the context of death. In fact, many flies, such as the genus Hydrotaea are used in forensic cases to determine time of death for many corpses.
Not surprisingly, in art and entertainment, flies are also used primarily to introduce elements of horror or the simply mundane; an example of the former is the 1958 science fiction film The Fly (remade in 1986), in which a scientist accidentally exchanges parts of his body with those of a fly. Examples of the latter include trompe l'oeil paintings of the fifteenth century such as Portrait of a Carthusian by Petrus Christus, showing a fly sitting on a fake frame [5], a 2001 art project by Garnet Hertz in which a complete web server was implanted into a dead fly[1], and various musical works (such as Yoko Ono's album Fly, U2's song "The Fly," Dave Matthews' song "The Fly" and Béla Bartók's "From the Diary of a Fly"). The ability of flies to cling to almost any surface has also inspired the title of Human Fly for stunt performers whose stunts involve climbing buildings, including both real life and fictional individuals.
Aside from the fictional and conceptual role flies play in culture, there are practical roles that flies can play (e.g., flies are reared in large numbers in Japan to serve as pollinators of sunflowers in greenhouses), especially the maggots of various species.

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