April 18, 2024
The numbers that will come out this year – averaging around 1 million per acre over hundreds of millions of acres across 16 states – are mind-boggling. Easily hundreds of trillions, maybe quadrillions, Cooley said.

Invaders from underground are coming in cicada-geddon. It’s the biggest bug emergence in centuries

Trillions of evolution’s bizarro wonders, red-eyed periodical cicadas that have pumps in their heads and jet-like muscles in their rears, are about to emerge in numbers not seen in decades and possibly centuries.

Trillions of evolution’s bizarro wonders, red-eyed periodical cicadas that have pumps in their heads and jet-like muscles in their rears, are about to emerge in numbers not seen in decades and possibly centuries.

Crawling out from underground every 13 or 17 years, with a collective song as loud as jet engines, the periodical cicadas are nature’s kings of the calendar.

These black bugs with bulging eyes differ from their greener-tinged cousins that come out annually. They stay buried year after year, until they surface and take over a landscape, covering houses with shed exoskeletons and making the ground crunchy.

This spring, an unusual cicada double dose is about to invade a couple parts of the United States in what University of Connecticut cicada expert John Cooley called “cicada-geddon.” The last time these two broods came out together in 1803 Thomas Jefferson, who wrote about cicadas in his Garden Book but mistakenly called them locusts, was president.

“Periodic cicadas don’t do subtle,” Cooley said.

If you’re fascinated by the upcoming solar eclipse, the cicadas are weirder and bigger, said Georgia Tech biophysicist Saad Bhamla.

“We’ve got trillions of these amazing living organisms come out of the Earth, climb up on trees and it’s just a unique experience, a sight to behold,” Bhamla said. “It’s like an entire alien species living underneath our feet and then some prime number years they come out to say hello.”

At times mistaken for voracious and unrelated locusts, periodical cicadas are more annoying rather than causing biblical economic damage. They can hurt young trees and some fruit crops, but it’s not widespread and can be prevented.

Interesting Read…

See Also:

Cicadas of Ontario

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