“And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field.” Exodus 10:5
At numbers of up to or more than a 1.5 million per acre of land, the 'invaders' that will be visiting will not be staying long nor are they from foreign lands but are the 'children' of those who last visited these lands 17 years ago for but a very brief stay. Known for their large, bulging red eyes and their 17-year 'slumber' underground, their dormant period suddenly comes to an end when the soil warms to 64 degrees for several nights in a row, at which time they emerge 'en masse' in an "epic, 'insectoid' public mosh pit event" in which the main purpose of their lives is to mate and die yet do they 'sing' in between. Boy, do they 'sing'.
For those who either do not live in areas of the United States who do not get cicadas or were not around for previous 'invasions', 'the emergence' of billions of cicadas in just a few weeks is either a rare treat or a huge annoyance that sounds almost like an invasion from outer space and you can hear it up close and personal in the 2nd video below.
With their constant 'buzz' that lasts from morning until night time, a 2004 story from the Washington Post about a different brood of these creatures that live 99% of their lives underground acquiring their nourishment from the roots of trees described this fascinating noise as such:
Anyone who has experienced a swarm likely remembers the noise.
As David Snyder wrote in The Washington Post in 2004, “Words seem inadequate to describe that vaguely menacing hum-whistle that seems to be everywhere but emanates from no single place in particular.”
“It feels like an alien spaceship coming in,” Arlington resident Gene Miller told Snyder.
That sound, the melodic, almost frightening buzzing, wakes with the sun in the early morning and continues late into the night. The droning is a mating cry sung by males, as they try to find willing females before their 17-year-old lives conclude.
For those who have never heard this noise and are curious, the 2nd video below gives us a taste of what that deafening sound is like, a sound that can allegedly reach 90 decibels, as loud as many outdoor rock concerts. Be sure to turn up the volume if you want 'the full effect'.
As Gary Franchi of the Next News Network tells us in the 1st video below, this 'Biblical scale cicada swarm' is happening at a time in US history where the corruption of our politicians has never been greater. As this Washington Post story tells us:
The eighth biblical plague that tortured Egypt was a plague of locusts.
For those in Maryland and other parts of the East coast who remember the 17-year cicadas back in 2013, this is a different brood and only part of the state of Maryland will be 'invaded' along with parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and Long Island, New York, as seen in the screenshot of the map below from Cicada Mania. 'Magicicada' periodical cicadas have either a 13-year or a 17-year life span though the large percentage of that life is spent underground.
Fortunately these cicadas are unlike those locusts of ancient Egypt described in the Bible and are of very little danger to crops and trees, though they have been known to cause damage to small tree branches in which the females lay their eggs. We also learn here that in the life of the cicada, we may be witnessing one of God and nature's amazing 'survival strategies'. From a story from The Christian Science Monitor:
Once the insects mate and the females together lay billions of eggs, the adult cicadas die. Their eggs hatch six weeks later, and a new generation of nymphs emerges. The young cicadas crawl to the ends of their branches and drop to the ground to burrow and to disappear for 17 years, thereby starting a new cycle.
They also hypothesize that the 13- and 17-year life cycles of periodic cicadas is significant.
As the Monitor reported in 2013:
Both 13 and 17 are prime numbers, that is, they are numbers that can be divided only by themselves and the number 1. This mathematical trick, say biologists, could be another strategy to avoid being eaten.
'The philosophy is that if cicadas have 12-year cycles, all the predators with two, three, four, and six-year cycles will eat them,' Mario Markus, a physicist at the Max-Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology, who led a 2001 study investigating the relationship between prime numbers and cicada cycles, told Nature magazine. 'If the cicadas mutate to 13-year cycles, they will survive.'
Some are also extolling the nutritional value of cicadas (think of them as the "shrimpts of the earth", say aficionados). They are high in protein, low in fat, and low in carbohydrates and, thanks to their tree root diet, said to have an asparagus-like flavour when eaten raw or boiled.
Jenna Jadin, an entomologist who wrote the online cookbook Cicada-Licious while a graduate student at the University of Maryland, collectedrecipes that included soft-shelled cicadas, cicada dumplings, cicada stir-fry and sizzling cicadas.
"Eating bugs sounds disgusting?" she wrote. "If you have ever eaten a crawfish, lobster, crab, or shrimp, then you have already eaten members of the class arthropoda, of which insects are a part. So popping a big juicy beetle, cricket, or cicada into your mouth is only a step away. Is this latest 'cicada swarm' another sign of America's politicians going down the wrong path as Franchi suggests in the 1st video? Are you in an area that will be getting cicadas this year or do you remember them from years past? Would you eat them for dinner or late night snacks? (JOE JOE!!!) Please let us know what you think in the comment section below.