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If you’re looking for yet another sign that the end is near, the media has been buzzing (pun-intended) with reports that billions of cicadas will be burrowing out of their underground holes soon and swarming the East Coast of the United States. Okay, so “Cicadapocolypse” – what many entomologists are calling the insects’ mass exodus from the ground – may be a bit sensational considering that the bugs would hardly hurt a fly, but the event likely will be painful to our ears. Some experts predict that the noise the cicadas emit could even be comparable to the sound of a New York City train.
The gigantic batch of cicadas – called Brood II by entomologists – is a specific type that hatches every 17 years on the East Coast. The mass hatching will take place from North Carolina to Connecticut, and is estimated to happen between mid-April to late May or when ground temperatures reach approximately 64 degrees (these bugs are an exacting bunch).
Brood II cicadas will have dark-colored bodies and bright red eyes and while they aren’t at all harmful to humans, their sheer numbers may be a nuisance for those that don’t like seeing those empty brown cicada shells everywhere.
The swarms will also be emit a sound that will not be music to most people’s ears, so be prepared to deal with a bit of extra noise pollution for about 4-6 weeks. But we won’t be hearing from the Brood IIs for a while after that, as the next hatching will take place in 2030.