A plague! For several weeks, millions of people have seen their daily lives turned upside down due to a phenomenon that only occurs every two centuries.

The event has not occurred in 221 years, scientists say, and not a single human who witnessed it will experience again this phenomenon which is currently hitting one of the most inhabited regions of the world as it approaches. of summer. This phenomenon puts nature and ecosystems to the test and is described as a “scourge” by people whose daily lives are or will be significantly impacted.

In recent weeks, several billion cicadas, of different species, have begun to suddenly emerge from the ground to attack their fellows, like zombies, in 16 states in the eastern United States. These cicadas live underground for several years, some have even spent 13 years as larvae feeding on root sap. Others are reaching their 17th buried year this year and the problem is that all these little people are going to come out and continue to put their heads out of the hole, at the same time, before the start of summer.

Two generations of periodical cicadas will in fact meet to mate on the surface. Their number should well exceed a hundred billion and at its peak, the spectacle risks fascinating fans of small creatures as much as the noise risks disturbing them.

Unfortunately for them, a large number of these cicadas carry a virus that will decimate this insect, whose life on the surface is already very short. Because of a fungus, Massospora cicadina, some cicadas are in fact carriers of a sexually transmitted disease which settles in their abdomen, destroys their genitals, making them sterile and disrupts their behavior because they continue to want to reproduce and infest their fellow human beings.

Some Americans are already complaining about the noise these insects cause. On social media, several people have filmed the noises the cicadas make, and it sounds more like the sound of a jackhammer than the song of a small insect. The Newberry, South Carolina, Sheriff’s Office reported on Facebook that it was receiving calls for sounds in the air similar to a siren. One person even recorded the song of numerous insects at more than 114 decibels, which is close to the sound level of an airplane turbine. At this height, noise can cause damage to the human ear, which explains the discomfort and suffering of many Americans.

In France, this phenomenon is impossible because periodic cicadas are endemic to North America; those we know in France have a normal, annual rhythm of life.