EntertainmentBillions of hallucinogen-carrying cicadas to surface in 2024: here's what you need to know

Billions of hallucinogen-carrying cicadas to surface in 2024: here's what you need to know

Zombie cicadas will attack the USA
Zombie cicadas will attack the USA
Images source: © Canva

2:01 PM EST, February 5, 2024, updated: 4:15 AM EST, March 7, 2024

The cicadas present in the United States are part of a group of insects from the order of true bugs, informally termed "cicadas". There are several species of these insects in the US, the most renowned of which are the 17-year and 13-year cicadas. These monikers reflect the period the larvae remain underground before surfacing. The insects' notable trait is their synchronous emergence every few years. Adult cicadas burst forth from the ground in vast numbers to propagate their species.

Mass emergences of cicadas approaching in 2024

The year 2024 holds special significance in the life cycle of cicadas. This is due to synchronising two prime species' emergence - the 17-year and the 13-year cicadas. The previous occurrence of this synchrony was in 1803, and the next isn't projected until another 221 years. This extraordinary phenomenon will be well underway in May when billions of insects start to crawl out of the ground.

The article's title may appear to be pure clickbait, but there's truth to it. Most cicadas emerging this year in the United States will likely be infected with the Massospora fungus. This fungus belongs to the entomopathogenic species known for attacking insects. Cicadas are prone to this infection while still in their larval stage underground. The Massospora fungus induces significant changes in infected insects, including complete body decay and behavioural manipulation, driving them to spread the fungus' spores. These changes can be attributed to hallucinogenic substances like psilocybin, commonly found in hallucinogenic mushrooms and amphetamine derivatives.

Zombie cicadas will attack the USA.
Zombie cicadas will attack the USA.© Canva

Fortunately, large masses of cicadas do not pose a danger to humans or other animals. These insects neither bite nor ravage crops. However, given their sheer numbers, they can compromise airplane flights as their swarms are substantial enough to appear on radars.

Source: TikTok: A Doctor from TikTok

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