The cicada is nature’s real-life salute to science fiction. This creepy crawler is an insect that spends the majority of its life underground before emerging in a brood of billions to shed its skin and take over the mainland. With its bulging eyes, obnoxious hum, and the whole shedding-skin-every-seven-years thing, the Cicada is like the Madonna of insects. And this summer, they'll be making their return to the East Coast. So in preparation, we would like to pass on some interesting tidbits about our new summer neighbors:
At the end of their teenage cycle, when the warm weather hits and cicadas venture above ground, their sole purpose is to reproduce. Similar to a college freshman’s first spring break.
The cicada’s mating call sounds to humans like a loud buzzing. With (literally) billions of them interacting at one time, the buzz can be nearly as loud as a jet engine. Try not to be seduced by it.
Also, try not to seduce them. Because the cicadas’ mating call so closely resembles an engine, the insects often confuse lawn mowers or electric drills for a potential mate. So if you are doing outdoor work during their mating season, expect some bug love for you and your sexy, sexy drill.
Cicadas actually have five eyes. Between their two large bulging ones are three smaller ones. And if they’re wearing glasses, they have ten eyes and probably also some Weezer albums on vinyl.
Although their presence is intimidating when above ground, cicadas pose no threat to humans or animals. They do not bite or sting and they continue to only drink fluid from trees. Basically, cicadas are Whole Foods’ ideal customers.
An unfortunate downside to the cicadas’ all-liquid diet is that these juices need to come back out. Meaning, if you’re walking under a cicada-filled tree, it may be wise to carry an umbrella.
The “band” Skrillex was originally inspired by cicadas’ buzzing.
In China, the cicada is seen as a symbol of rebirth and immortality. This is a beautiful notion until you step on one.
Finally, when cicadas die, they are considered a delicacy in many different regions of the world. Because of a distant relation to shrimp and lobsters, the cicada is often described as tasting “fresh and fishy.” On a related note, please excuse us while we vomit.
What more do you know about cicadas?