People share photos as billions of cicadas emerge after 17 years in the ground

June 1st, 2021

It’s finally here – Brood X. If you haven’t heard about it yet, allow us to enlighten you. Cicadas are a staple of the East Coast. Any summer day is almost certainly going to include the droning cry of these bugs rubbing their wings together. When lots of them do this together, it creates what’s known as “cicada song!”

These bugs stay in the ground for nearly two decades before surfacing and mating. Scientists track these “broods” of groups of cicadas so they know when they will surface. 2021 just so happens to feature one of the largest broods known and they just started crawling out! Here are some photos to show you just how wild this natural phenomenon is:

1. Crunchy steps

When they shed their skin and climb a tree like this, they leave behind crunchy little exoskeletons. Walking through this probably sounds like someone is eating potato chips!

2. Old tarp

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Reddit/u/Sufficient-Dream4579 Source: Reddit/u/Sufficient-Dream4579

When this person pulled away an old tarp, they discovered a bunch of larvae that had tried to escape! They burrow deep and when they couldn’t find the light, they started going off to the sides. It’s almost like a real-life ant farm but with cicadas!

3. Harmless bugs

Thankfully, these bugs are harmless. They don’t sting but this Twitter user makes a great point – if they did, corona would be completely gone in the south REAL quick!

4. A little too close

It’s one thing to see them from a distance, but this is a bit too much. Yes, they’re harmless, but they are still gross bugs! This guy has zero fear and it’s pretty wild!

5. Outdoor running

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Twitter/Liz Engel Source: Twitter/Liz Engel

You don’t need shock-absorbing shoes when running during cicada season. Their skins provide all the cushion you could ever need! It just might be a bit noisy.

6. How many inches?

We aren’t measuring how many inches of rain we’re getting anymore. Now, we measure in cicada depth. With billions and billions of bugs coming up, it’s gonna storm cicadas.

7. Party at this lady’s house



♬ original sound – ms_ziggy

When heading outside, this woman turned around REAL quick. Cicadopocolypse, anyone? Maybe try and hose them off and just ignore them?

8. Is that mulch?

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Twitter/KTKNichols Source: Twitter/KTKNichols

No. It isn’t. It’s literally a layer of cicada skins an inch deep. When they climb out of the ground, they usually find a tree and climb it to shed their skins, creating this effect.

9. Coming to a yard near you!

This is the sequel that nobody asked for. While humans may hate it, it’s a great resource and food source for much of the wildlife. Many even say that your dog can eat them, although it’s pretty gross to think about.

10. Anything sticky

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Imgur Source: Imgur

Cedar trees, bark, and rope all have one thing in common – they make good cicada spots! If a cicada can stick its little claws into something with small fibers like this, it can escape its exoskeletons a lot easier.


Although it seems scary, don’t worry! These little bugs are harmless and unless you live in certain counties on the east coast, you won’t even see them. In fact, these little guys come every year – they are just getting special attention with how large of a brood this year in particular is.

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Source: Bored Panda, ENTSOC