Watch a Cicada Metamorphose

The surprisingly beautiful conclusion to the cicada's life. Also, basically, what HD was made for.
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You all may have just started to pay attention to cicadas this year, when they're emerging from the ground to mate and die, but filmmaker Samuel Orr has been working on a documentary about the special species since 2007. That effort has paid off, as you can see in the beautiful trailer embedded here.

The doc itself is not complete, but Orr has a Kickstarter up to help him finish it off.

If Orr's funding reaches above his $3,000 goal, he'll increase the amount of time-lapse photography he will do of this year's brood (the name for the cicada hatch), which would be a very good thing.

Skip to about minute two of the preview above and you'll see a remarkable set of time-lapses of the cicadas turning from creepy-crawly insect into winged bug. To watch the wings unfurl at about 2:20 is to see one of the glories of evolution.

Happy Memorial Day weekend.

H/t Jad Abumrad

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com, where he also oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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