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Shut Up and Behold the Deafening Song of the 17-Year Cicada

They're back, and loud as ever.
via Flickr / Vox Efx

Last time the untold billions of alien-looking cicadas comprising the Brood II periodical swarm came crawling up from the Earth below, OJ Simpson was on trial, Bill Clinton was president, and Alanis Morisette won the Grammy for the Album of the Year. Now the bugs are back, and loud as ever.

Their din can reach 90 decibels--that's equivalent to some power motors. That's loud. But having lived through two Brood X invasions, I can say that at a certain point it all becomes white noise. Let us tour the drone, then.


But first thing's first. Here's Attenborough with the dormant saga of the 17-year cicada:

And now, some noise:

Only males make the call:

Finally, here are some folks in Illinois in 1990 munching down cicadas? I don't even know.

Reach Brian at @thebanderson