By Sean Streicher

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Every 17 years, for two months, cicadas dominate the news cycle. The Brood X cicadas are finally here and people want to know about them.

“I mean they’re big and they’re ugly but I think they’re really cool,” said Emily Pollock.

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Love them or hate them, cicadas have reached rockstar status.

A periodical cicada nymph clings to a tree branch on May 11, 2021 in Greenbelt, Maryland. – Some are waiting for their arrival with trepidation, others are curious what they might taste like: Americans are swapping tips on how best to weather the storm when billions of cicadas soon emerge after 17 years underground. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

During their few weeks above ground, cicadas have a lot to get done. They shed their exoskeletons, spread their wings, and find a mate — all so the 17-year cycle can start all over again.

“Some people are afraid of these and they don’t even want to touch them but these are not even alive, these are just a shell, it’s an exoskeleton,” said Molly Hoopes, a naturalist with Baltimore City Recreation and Parks.

Hoopes organized an event at the Clyburn Silburn Arboretum to teach people about these interesting insects.

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“Some people would be more likely to come here, where they can have someone show them a cicada and they don’t have to go out in the woods and try to look for them and be afraid they’re going to fly in their head,” she said.

Hoopes said there are three different types of cicadas that emerge with Brood X.

“This is called the dwarf cicada because their abdomen is all black, they don’t have any orange stripes,” Hoopes added. Most of them should be gone by mid to late June.

“What an amazing life cycle. 17 years underground to come up and have this crazy party for 4 weeks,” said cicada fan, Scott Morgan.

This story was originally posted on May 23, 2021.

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Sean Streicher