No omens here, guys.
Just your standard swarm of locu – of cicadas. They’re called “cicadas,” bigot.
Billions of cicadas that have spent 17 years underground are set to emerge across large areas of the eastern US, bringing swarming numbers and loud mating calls to major towns and cities.
The periodic cicadas – bugs with strikingly red eyes, black bodies and orange wings – burrow underground as nymphs and suck fluids from the roots of plants as they grow, eventually bursting into the open as adults in mass synchronized events.
The last such event for 15 states including New York, Ohio, Illinois and Georgia occurred in 2004. The cicadas emerge in a 17-year cycle, meaning they will appear this year once temperatures are warm enough, expected to be mid-May
“They may amass in millions in parks, woods, neighbourhoods, and can seemingly be everywhere,” said Gary Parsons, an entomologist at Michigan State University. “When they are this abundant, they fly, land and crawl everywhere, including occasionally landing on humans.”
Parsons said that while cicadas will not harm people, pets that gorge on them may become ill. It is thought that long underground development helps cicadas survive predators, as their huge and synchronized arrival provides protection in numbers.
The noise made by the enormous swarms will be noticeable, however, with males emitting mating calls that can reach 100 decibels, the same sound as standing next to a motorcycle revving its engine. The males produce these mating “songs” by vibrating their tymbals, two rigid, drum-like membranes on the underside of the abdomen.
Experts say if people are able to forget about the noise and the surprise of surroundings covered with cicadas, they will be able to appreciate a rare wonder of the natural world.
Wow, those experts are true poets.
I was around for the 2004 event in Ohio. I was a teenager, so perhaps didn’t realize how wondrous it was. It was disgusting, however. They just go everywhere and they make this sound all the time, and you just can’t even think with that horrible sound.
It’s worse than someone revving millions of motorcycles nonstop.
But California likes swarms of disgusting creatures, so I’m sure they’ll have no problem with these insects and their unique cultural heritage of making that sound everywhere for weeks.
And no, they’re not actually locusts. Locusts are more like grasshoppers. These creatures are grasshopper like, sort of, but more gross.
However, it should be noted, for anyone thinking about symbolism here, that actual locusts swarmed by the billions across the Middle East and North Africa during the summer.
They will tell you that the insects and animals are behaving strangely because of the environmental destruction wreaked
by the third world population explosion by white people eating meat and driving trucks. This is I’m sure true (well, the old version of it was).