Humans or cicadas? Forest Preserve staff hilariously act out the 17-year cicada life cycle

As you probably know, the cicadas are coming, and they're almost here! PBS explains all of the buzz:

These insects spend the majority of their lives underground, feeding off of tree roots. But every 13 or 17 years, different broods – groups of cicadas that debut at the same time – leave their underground lairs to mate.

2024 offers a rare entomological treat: Two different broods will emerge at the same time across different ranges of the country. The Great Southern Brood, or Brood XIX, will extend across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, according to Illinois Extension. The Northern Illinois Brood, or Brood XIII, is expected to cover that region, plus parts of neighboring Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan and Indiana.

Two different broods don't often emerge simultaneously — these particular 13- and 17-year cicada broods only sync up once every 221 years. They last emerged together in 1803, and their next double-emergence is predicted in 2245, said Kacie Athey, an assistant professor and extension specialist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The PBS article is very informative, so to learn more you should read the rest here. If you're more of a visual learner, however, this video created by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, Illinois. It features Ecology Supervisor Tom Velat dropping facts about the 17-year cicadas, and some brave district staffers with terrific senses of humor, dressed like cicadas, acting out their life cycle. 

It's really hilarious, as well as informative. Enjoy!


17-year periodical cicadas are just about to emerge in DuPage! Forest Preserve District ecology supervisor Tom Velat walks us through the fascinating life cycle of a 17-year cicada with some help from District staff. #cicada #cicadas #cicadatok #cicadaseason #longervideos

♬ original sound – DuPage County Forest Preserve

Previously: Year of the cicadas: two 17-year broods wake up at once