Things that make you go EEW!!!!!

On the list of “Things that make you go EEW!!!!!!” – try out this headline from the Associated Press/INFORUM: East about to be overrun by billions of cicadas. Please do allow me to be the first to offer an emphatic EEW!!!!!!!!!!

Billions of cicadas – those little bugs are harmless to people physically, but just the thought of having billions of them about is enough to scar a sensitive psyche.  My psyche is sensitive. I am scarred by the thought.

There is actually a great story behind the invasion of these little red-eyed invaders.  They have been underground since 1996.  Yes, 17 years they have been waiting to re-emerge.  They will make their appearance when the ground temperature reaches exactly 64 degrees.  It is estimated that upon their emergence they will outnumber the people on the East Coast 600 to 1.

image
This photo provided by the University of Connecticut shows a cicada in Pipestem State Park in West Virginia in 2003. (AP Photo/University of Connecticut, Chris Simon)

These little darlings are not your run of the mill cicadas – they are magicicadas and they are only found on the East Coast.  Researchers quibble about how many are actually underground waiting to come out.  The estimates range from 30 billion to one trillion.  Never fear though they are only around for a few weeks and then they die and their offspring toddle back underground for another 17 years.

If you are wondering to what we owe this peculiar pleasure – the appearance of billions of cicadas, I offer you an answer as old as the ages – they are coming up for sex.  They are ready to get it on.  Lovely imagery isn’t it?  Not that I am in any way against sex, but this whole 17 year itch thing just sounds crazy.  The whole thing feels like a campy horror movie from the 70s – The Rise of the Magicicadas!  I imagine screaming teenagers running out of wooded areas being swarmed by sex-starved magicicadas.  Maybe with the old T. Rex song Bang a Gong playing in the background.  Oh yes, I can imagine it all in my odd little mind and let me reiterate – EEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Day one thousand three hundred and ninety-nine of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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2 Responses to Things that make you go EEW!!!!!

  1. B-dubya says:

    Fascinating bug! They are kind of pretty and I’d love to hear their sound (if only for a few minutes), but EWWWW!

  2. tim haering says:

    “YOU talk about day, I’m talkin’ ‘bout night time
    When monsters call out the names of men
    Bob Dylan knows, and I’ll bet Alan Freed did
    There are things in night that are better not to behold” – from “Ballrooms of Mars”

    I Love T-Rex. Such drug lyrics. I can tell you feel that way about cicadas. Better not to behold. The mystery to me is not why they come up, but how such a 17 year rut-and-hibernate cycle could ever have been favored by Nature. Explain that one to me, Professoressa!

    Cheers and beers!

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