What To Know About The 17-Year Cicadas

Illustration for article titled What To Know About The 17-Year Cicadas

The 17-year cicadas, Brood X, have begun to emerge across the United States, driving curiosity among science fans and nature lovers. The Onion breaks down everything you need to know about the 17-year cicadas.

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Q: What are cicadas?
A: Insects that emerge from underground to mate, die, and provide an opportunity for dull reporters to reflect on life 17 years ago.

Q: How many cicadas will emerge this year?
A: Twelve.

Q: What triggers the cicadas’ return?
A: Excruciating boredom.

Q: What are the cicada’s natural predators? 
A: Birds, squirrels, and your dog who will try to swallow one whole and then spend 20 minutes throwing up in the corner.

Q: Are cicadas dangerous? 
A: While they don’t bite, the cicadas’ offhand remarks can be cruel.

Q: How long do they live?
A: Seventeen years in the ground, four weeks after surfacing, and six to eight months in the news cycle leading up to it.

Q: What do the cicadas do while they’re above ground? 
A: It hasn’t happened yet, so how the hell would we know that? Idiot.

Q: How large are cicadas? 
A: Approximately two bites.

Q: Does the cicadas’ emergence have any negative effects? 
A: Yes, a sharp uptick in cicada-related crime.

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