Experts Warn About Upcoming ‘Cicada-geddon’

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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The end might be nigh, but either way, it will end up seriously bugging you.

Various U.S. regions are due to experience an unusually massive swarm of insects emerging from the ground in the spring, experts told The Associated Press (AP).

Experts say that the spring of 2024 will see a rare event in which the 13-year and 17-year emergence cycle of different cicadas broods will intersect, according to The AP noted. University of Connecticut cicada expert John Cooley dubbed the event a “cicada-geddon,” the outlet noted. (RELATED: ‘Watch Out For The Cicadas’: Bug Lands On Biden’s Neck Outside Air Force One)

“Periodic cicadas don’t do subtle,” Cooley told The AP.

The last time these two differently cycled broods emerged out from the ground together was in 1803, The AP reported. Then-President Thomas Jefferson wrote about the event in his Garden Book, however he mistook the cicadas for locusts, The AP noted.

“We’ve got trillions of these amazing living organisms come out of the Earth, climb up on trees and it’s just a unique experience, a sight to behold,” Georgia Tech biophysicist Saad Bhamla told the outlet. “It’s like an entire alien species living underneath our feet and then some prime number years they come out to say hello.”

The largest brood of cicadas, dubbed Brood XIX, has a 13 year emergence cycle, and are set to spring up from Maryland to Oklahoma, according to the University of Connecticut. Brood XIII cicadas, however, are generally only confined to the Midwest.

“Illinois presents a particular challenge for understanding periodical cicada biology, because it contains both 13 and 17 year life cycles, all 7 currently recognized species, and five separate broods, some of which include disjunct populations,” the university noted.

Cooley estimated that the total number of cicadas emerging from the ground may easily number in the hundreds of trillions to quadrillions, The AP noted. He also noted that an even larger cicada-related event is set to occur in 2076 when the two largest broods, XIX and XIV, which are predicted to emerge at the same time, The AP reported.

The bugs will also be loud. The North American varieties of cicadas can make noises that reach up to 90 decibels, which is about the same level of noise that a leaf blower makes, according to The Weather Network.

To make matters worse, cicadas are the strongest urinators on earth, with a flow rate measuring at 3 meters per second, NBC 10 noted.

“You walk around in a forest where they’re actively chorusing on a hot sunny day. It feels like it’s raining,” Cooley said. “That’s their honeydew or waste product coming out the back end … It’s called cicada rain.”