After 17 years underground, cicadas (harvest cicadas) in staggering numbers in 18 US states emerge from the soil to shed their skin, mate, lay eggs and then die.
According to a BBC report, the last time cicadas appeared in many regions of the United States was in 2003 and 2004, and this insect is one of the longest-lived insects in the world, but it spends almost its entire life underground and feeds on tree roots for periods of time. Ranging from 13 to 17 years old.
When these insects are ready to rise to the surface, they build mud tubes in the soil and crawl out to find a place to molt into their adult winged form.
But despite the presence of billions of them, they are not harmful to humans and can be a good source of food for animals and birds.
It is still unclear why these insects appear at specific intervals, although some researchers believe that this could help cicadas avoid predators.
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