Table of Content:
2.0 You don’t see them that often. Do you?
3.0 Some interesting facts about the Cicadas
4.0 Noise pollution
Noise pollution amidst the silent lockdown is definitely a game-changing set-up. Covid-19 has made people occupied with fear and anxiety for almost half a year and the rest half of the year too is going to pass in reforming that gap of the year and hopefully creating some significance in this meaningless year.
Unpredictability is the word for 2020 so far; winning the cap and being way ahead of words like misery, diseases and deaths.
Tragedy by far was not enough and yet another new and unusual thing has come up – Cicadas. The name is new-fangled and unfamiliar but they are definitely not the first time guests of this delusional world. Cicadas have been there, surviving and creating an impact from time to time in the lives of the people who know what these crawly creatures are or at least are impacted in some or the other way.
You don’t see them that often. Do you?
Yes, that’s right. Cicadas are not out there waiting to be witnessed. Annual cicadas come out every year as they are the underground larvae waiting for that time of the year when they can come as members of different species from one to nine or more years. There is a group of species that lay underground for most of their lives to emerge only once in 13 or 17 years. These are known as periodic cicadas.
They are that stubborn group of creatures whose emergence is so rare that the creatures preying on them or considering them as food would die of starvation because their emergence is once in a lifetime kind. This is something that is so bizarre; that really sets them apart from other creatures.
Some interesting facts about the Cicadas
- Believe it or not, they are actually from the family of bugs.
- The majority of this species is very active in the day time and mostly ends their day right at dusk. At least we know that they are not night lovers for sure.
- Cicadas are more than 3,000 in species where most of them are not described or noted.
- Their dwellings are mostly found on the trees and they often lay their eggs under the holes of the bark of the trees to keep them protected from other creatures or animals.
- Surprisingly, Cicadas is a delicacy in China, consumed by the people there for many years. Cicadas have always been consumed as food by ancient Greece and a lot of countries along with China like North America, East Africa and Malaysia enjoy them eating. They are considered nutritious, tasty and meaty by people of these countries.
- Cicadas are believed to have healing qualities and so they are also used in making medicines in China.
- Cicadas are believed to stay only in one place throughout their lives. But the research and studies about them also show that the males might migrate more than females in search of a female partner for mating.
- Their staple diet is the plant sap and the sap from the xylem of different trees.
- Cicadas are experts in camouflaging and hiding their identities when the situation prevails to protect themselves from being prey to larger insects or birds.
- Another amazing quality they have is to play dead when the situation is unsafe or threatening.
- Cicadas hold a very important position in Chinese culture. They are considered as a sign of immortality by the Chinese and it is found that they have also been used as a currency in China many years back. Who knew that the transparent bodied brainy creatures could be so important for some cultures? This is undeniably remarkable.
- Japan too has associated Cicadas with the beginning of the summer season.
- Cicadas are completely harmless to humans unlike other insects but are often seeing biting or stinging if they feel threatened or can often mistake a human’s hand with the bark of a tree.
- Trees are often damaged when cicadas reside there, not only because they heavily feed on the tree spas, but also because the female cicadas lay numerous eggs at once and a large number of eggs could damage the shoots of the trees, hindering their growth.
Manmade noise pollution is often associated with industrialization and the rise of traffic, especially in urban areas. But guess what, noise pollution is not just manmade. There are creatures like Cicadas who are so hugely responsible for noise pollution. Yes, they come out rarely, but when they do, their presence is often felt by the habitants living around and sometimes it’s so annoying that it could disrupt a human activity or a person’s concentration.
Male cicadas are considered noisier compared to females. The main purpose of the male cicadas singing horrifically is mainly to attract the females for mating and it could be really very loud at times. Emerging from the grounds at any time of the year and indulging in their sing-song practices abruptly; what might be melodious for these species could be a nuisance for the humans.
According to the research and studies over the years, this is the time when cicadas might come out in regions like Virginia and North Carolina where they normally come. This year could not have been more different and now the emergence of Cicadas is surely going to end this year on a not so soothing note.
Cicadas have always been underground nymphs and the year 2020 might not be the year of quarantine for them, unlike us who are stuck (not underground though). Covid-19 and its side-effects have stopped our lives and normal activities and after so many years, the traffic is so light on roads and noise pollution is in such a control that has never been the case for so many years. Who knew that nature too could create the same problems if not more and the level of the noise pollution that went so down since the outbreak might double up soon on the emergence of the cicadas. What an outstandingly erratic year.