The dreaded/much-anticipated cicada invasion is under way, but for those who are not in a Magicicada Brood II zone—the billions upon billions that are scheduled to boil out of the ground this spring after 17 years—there is, not surprisingly, a chance to see them live streamed on the Web.
This courtesy of Animal Planet, which is broadcasting a live-cicada feed from its terrarium. The crawling, fornicating critters are swarming over a miniature Capitol building.
Except for a few hours ago, when New York Magazine noticed that they seemed very … still. As in spent. That is, Monty Python parrot spent.
“Now the stream just shows a pile of dead cicadas, as incongruous cicada-porn music continues to play on a loop,” wrote Dan Amira in the magazine’s online edition at 10:30 a.m.
Except, then they woke up—or seemed to.
“Update, 11:03 a.m.: So, uh, it turns out that the cicadas are not dead,” Amira wrote a half hour later. “They are suddenly crawling all over the place and are very much alive. After sitting perfectly still for the last hour. Cicadas are even creepier than we realized.”
The mystery was solved a little while later, when a reader pointed out that the network had replaced the previous ones, which were indeed ex-cicadas, with a new crop.
“Unfortunately, the cicada life cycle is emerge, mate and die,” @ScienceChannel tweeted to Amira. “We have just replenished with a fresh batch. :)”
Watch the spectacle at AnimalPlanet.com, as the insects groove to '70s lounge-type music under the title "Buggy Nights." All that's missing is the lava lamp.
Related: Swarmageddon: Billions of Cicadas Are Emerging; Tasty but Not Pretty