If you haven’t heard already, the ominously dubbed “Brood X” will be emerging this year throughout 15 different states, one of those being Big Orange Tennessee.
But what is Brood X?
To understand this we need to talk about cicada basics.
Cicadas spend most of their lives underground. There, they slowly grow and develop by feeding on tree roots over long periods of time. After a length of time, they eventually emerge, shed off their exoskeleton, and fly around making all kinds of noise to attract mates. There are several groups of cicadas that do this periodically, which we organize into “broods”. These are categorized by the calendar year when they emerge. Brood X, or the Great Eastern Brood, is one of these groups of periodical cicadas that emerge every 17 years.
Brood X also happens to be one of the largest and most distributed broods out there, which is why they can be found all the way from Georgia to New York. It’s estimated that Brood X’s populations could reach even into the trillions!
While many view these emerges as bothersome or even as a plague (and it’s hard to argue against that), this is a wonderful scientific learning event. Additionally, this offers an opportunity to try out different arts & crafts and even food and cocktail recipes. Yes, you heard me right. Many cultures include cicadas in their diets and offer them in a variety of different dishes.
If you have a moment, please check out these resources: