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The Great Cicada Swarm: What to Know About Brood X

Brood X cicadas are emerging after 17 years underground. Here’s what you need to know.

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This year, trillions of cicadas will erupt from the soil across the eastern United States. The cicadas will sing, mate, lay eggs, and ultimately die en masse after a cacophonous insect bacchanal.

These noisy buggers belong to Brood X, which sounds ominous, but actually stands for the Roman numeral for 10. It’s one of the biggest and wide-ranging groups of periodical cicadas in the United States, which emerge from the ground after 13 and 17-year cycles. To get you ready for the coming swarm, we’ve curated some of the best articles about the fascinating–and surprisingly mysterious—science of cicadas.