Picture this: It’s a beautiful May day and you’re going for a walk around your neighborhood, when all of a sudden you feel sickening crunching noises under your feet. As you lift your foot up to see what you stepped on, you see a pair of nasty red eyes, squished wings, and a small insect carcass. There is a loud, constant buzzing noise everywhere you turn. Looking around, you start noticing that these bugs are everywhere; littering sidewalks, festooned on trees, and scattered around your neighborhood in bizarre places.
Brood X cicadas have arrived in the DMV area. After a 17 year wait, billions of cicadas are having the time of their lives. After this long wait underground, mature cicadas come out to mate and create the next generation of nymphs (baby cicadas). After a couple months, most of the mature cicadas will die and the nymphs will crawl back into the ground and will stay there for 17 more years.
Many WJ students find this cicada emergence irritating for numerous reasons.
“They’re annoying, making all these noises. Also they’re everywhere, I can’t even go outside without stepping on an army of cicadas,” sophomore Kidus Gidey said.
Since thinking about cicadas is currently unavoidable, here are some interesting facts about cicadas and the 2021 Brood X to widen your knowledge about these gross natural wonders:
We are in the cicada headquarters for Brood X: Maryland is the epicenter of cicada broods emerging in 15 states in the eastern U.S.
People actually enjoy eating cicadas: Some people enjoy eating cicadas, making them in kabobs, burgers, even panfired, steamed, and stir fried. Some say they taste a lot like tofu. A Bethesda shop is offering chocolate covered cicadas on their menu.
Cicadas are LOUD: You may notice the distinct sounds of cicadas everywhere you go these days. As loud as a lawnmower, cicadas produce sounds that can reach up to 120 decibels and be heard up to a mile away.
Cicadas are not Locusts: Many people confuse cicadas with locusts, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Locusts are in the same family as the grasshopper and way more destructive than cicadas, destroying crops and causing catastrophic damage, leading to famine in parts of the world. Cicadas do not bite, and will not cause harm to humans in any way.
A pandemic, protests for racial justice, political insurrections, and now cicadas — WJ’s class of 2021 has been on a wild ride this year. The next brood of cicadas will emerge for WJ’s class of 2038. Let’s hope the cicadas will emerge into a more peaceful, calmer world.