Monday, Jun. 14, 2010


The next time your tone-deaf significant other brings you out to a drunken night of karaoke, consider yourself lucky that you're not listening to a cicada mating song instead. Every 13 or 17 years, periodical cicadas of the Magicicada genus emerge en masse in eastern North America to sing, mate and drive locals into fitful bouts of insomnia. The males (much like their human counterparts) are the primary culprits, producing their deafening love "song" with timbals, an accordion-like membrane built into their exoskeleton. Your boyfriend wants to do a mashup of "My Heart Will Go On" and "Thong Song"? No problem. Just smile and remember the cicadas.