Cicadas are coming

Remember the old adage, “Ignorance is bliss?”

Well that is true in so many ways. It doesn’t take much explaining, either. People who are uneducated — and therefore know less — will, by default, have no knowledge of the shitty things our world has to offer. The smarter you become, the more aware you are of the world’s horrors. I’m not saying that the world is only comprised of horror, but, there is plenty out there. And enough to depress the shit out of you.

That’s why some of the most brilliant minds in our world either suffered from depression, schizophrenia or alcoholism. Albert Einstein. Mark Twain. Kim Kardashian.

Well today I learned about something, that, while interesting as hell — I also wish I never was made aware of it. So now I am going to share it with all of you!

Cicadas are coming. And like, badly.

This calendar year marks the onset of Brood II, which is the emergence of a specific breed of billions of cicadas on the east coast who resurface above ground every 17 years. The last time they showed themselves was in 1996, which according to my abacus, was precisely 17 years ago.

Apparently the 17-year-gap allows for juvenile development. Just weeks before their springtime emergence, the cicadas build exit tunnels in the soil to the surface. They mate, the females lay eggs, die, and after the eggs hatch, the baby insects go back below the soil, ready to emerge in another 17 years.

I think this is fascinating. Who knew that such a behavior could exist so consistently over such long intervals? Apparently, scientists have tracked this behavior as far back as 1843 (which was 170 years ago — or 10 cycles of Brood II.)

Just that it even has such a name — Brood II — is pretty cool. It sounds like a horror sequel. Which it may actually end up being for us humans.

What people really want to know is, how is this going to affect me? Well, lucky for us, cicadas do not sting or bite. But they can be pretty intense and loud creatures. And they’re not exactly small, so having one fly directly into your face would not be a pleasant experience.

All we can do is prepare for the cacophonous chirping noise that they make, and try not to become too alarmed if we see a couple latched on to nearby trees. It’s all part of nature, people. They’re just as scared of you as you are of them.

Most importantly, guys, if you’re out on a date — and you really want to impress a girl — don’t scream like a banshee upon seeing one. I may not be an expert on what girls like or don’t like, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be too impressed by that.

But imagine living underground for 17 years? That’s like the real-life insect version of Blast from the Past. A lot of things have happened since 1996. These cicadas might be alarmed by the evolution of technology. They won’t even know how to react when they see people sitting on a park bench and fiddling around with their iPads. Or the existence of Justin Bieber. And Facebook. Shit, those bastards don’t even know that 9/11 happened yet, as The Onion humorously pointed out.

So I imagine I made people’s lives slightly worse by informing them of this onslaught of billions of cicadas that are going to enter our lives very soon. But I’m truly of the belief that knowledge is power. The more you know, whether it’s positive or negative, the better you could prepare yourself for this world.

Now you can also impress your friends by enlightening them about this bi-decade natural phenomena. Ask them if they’re excited for Brood II, and I bet you 100 dollars that they respond by asking if that is the new M. Night Shyamalan movie.

Notice how I’ve refrained from posting an image of a cicada, because nobody really wants to see that. Any closeup picture of an insect is always an unpleasant experience. So instead, I’m going to post a photo of the Gonzo the Muppet, who is by far cutest looking thing to ever exist that could possibly be identified as an insect. Unless you count Gilbert Gottfried.

Anyway, Brood II is only going to last about four weeks, so there’s no need to panic. Most relationships don’t even last that long.

At least mine don’t. In fact, in retrospect, Brood I, Brood II, Brood III, and so on, would make fitting titles for my past relationships.

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2 thoughts on “Cicadas are coming

  1. Isn’t there a ten year cicada too? The year my sister graduated from GW in DC I believe in 2004 and it was the summer of the cicadas and they were EVERYWHERE!!! Dude, they LITTERED the gutters like leaves. It was insane. And crunchy

  2. Yea apparently there are different broods that come out during different time intervals. I wish some people I knew did the same thing

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