Updated: Jan 30, 2021
After 17 years of hibernating, millions of cicadas have finally emerged from underground. About 1.5 million cicadas show up per acre throughout southwestern Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia making clamorous chirping noises, bothering anyone nearby. While each species of cicadas comes up every 13 to 17 years, this specific one- Brood IX, last came up from underground in 2003. The reason as to why the cicadas come and go in cycles is a mystery to many, but researchers predict it’s to avoid predators that would make an easy meal out of them, although it seems a futile attempt as many do get eaten.
Although the timing isn’t always exact, scientists assume it's because they confuse time due to climate change, the fact remains that cicadas come out of hibernation for one reason only - mating. In an article by Jason Slotkin called “They're Back: Millions Of Cicadas Expected To Emerge This Year” it says, “The insects spend a majority of their lives underground, in an immature ‘nymph’ state with soil temperature and year synchronizing their transition to a mature cicada, ready to emerge, breed and lay eggs.” Mere weeks after the cicadas come back, they die, and their next generation repeats the process, taking the place of the former insects that had done the same before them.
In conclusion, these mysterious insects are just another example of how wonderful and exquisite mother nature is. No one really knows why anything is why it is, and these cicadas fall into that category. It is truly a special sighting to the folks that are lucky enough to see them, as noisy as they may be!