As much masochistic fun as it may be to follow the cicada sex invasion via Twitter's ever popular Vine app, the brave backyard directors chronicling the East Coast's ongoing insect phenomenon don't seem to be enjoying the process too much — many of them are just resorting to violence against the little guys, who die almost instantly upon their return to earth anyway.
Now that Brood II and all of its noisy glory has been spotted (and heard) all the way up to Staten Island, social media has begun to document the billions of winged creatures as they noisily mate for the next four to six weeks. So far, Vine — because it has sound and simple video — has provided the best look into life with cicadas... without the rest of us having to deal with the cicadas. But even though Vine users up and down the East Coast do have to hear and see the wings and the legs and the general ickiness, they don't have to go killing them on camera: Cicadas come up out of the ground, shed their skin, make the buzzsaw-decibel sounds of their mating call, mate... and then die, with or without Vine stomping. Male cicadas tend to expire shortly after mating, and the female batch of the brood don't normally survive much longer than it takes to lay 400-600 eggs each. Even when all those baby cicadas hatch, a lot of them tend to die off as well — and the rest just go back into the ground, harmless, for another 17 years before they're ready to mate themselves.
Sure, they might bite you if they mistake and arm for a tree branch and start feeding, but cicadas can be good for the environment, too. A simple plea to Viners everywhere: Please stop killing innocent, sexy cicadas. Because the following examples aren't science so much as slaughter.
This woman doesn't like her "beautiful day" interrupted by the bugs. Then she proceeds to stomp on them:
This guy calls himself a hero, after squishing a cicada with a brick:
Beca would like Skip to eat an already suffering cicada:
We don't actually witness any foul play in this Vine, but Brenna asks one to "suffer":
This guy went cicada-hunting, though it's not clear he has any malicious will:
And then there's a whole subset of people who are just upset about the whole thing, like this woman:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.