Home News Google Celebrates Double Cicada Brood Event with a Doodle

Google Celebrates Double Cicada Brood Event with a Doodle

Google Celebrates Double Cicada Brood Event with a Doodle

In a unique celebration of nature’s rhythm, Google has released a special Doodle to commemorate the rare double cicada brood event occurring in 2024. This remarkable phenomenon sees two distinct broods of periodical cicadas, Brood XIII and Brood XIX, emerging simultaneously, a spectacle not witnessed for 221 years.

The Rare Double Brood Event

Brood XIII and Brood XIX have distinct emergence cycles of 17 and 13 years, respectively. Their synchronized appearance is a rarity due to their prime number cycles, only overlapping once every 221 years. The last such occurrence was in 1803, and the next will be in 2245. These periodical cicadas emerge en masse when ground temperatures reach around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, heralding the event with their loud, characteristic calls​​.

Geographic Spread and Impact

The cicadas are expected to emerge across various states. Brood XIII will predominantly appear in the Midwest, covering areas such as Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa. In contrast, Brood XIX will span a broader region, including parts of the Southeastern United States like Louisiana, Virginia, and North Carolina. The overlap between these two broods is primarily expected in Illinois, particularly around Springfield​​.

Residents in these areas can anticipate a significant increase in noise levels, as cicadas are known for their loud mating calls, which can reach up to 100 decibels. While cicadas are harmless to humans and pets, their sheer numbers can be overwhelming. The insects do pose a minor risk to young trees, as females lay eggs in small branches, a process that can cause “flagging,” where the branches turn brown and die​.

The Significance of the Event

This double brood event is more than just a natural curiosity; it offers scientists a unique opportunity to study the interactions between these two broods. Researchers are particularly interested in understanding the cicadas’ internal molecular clocks, which regulate their synchronized emergences. There is also speculation about potential interbreeding between the broods, although scientists do not expect significant changes in their life cycles from such interactions​.

Google’s Doodle captures the public’s fascination with this natural event, highlighting the intricate timing and the spectacle of billions of cicadas emerging simultaneously. It serves as a reminder of the wonders of the natural world and the complex cycles that govern the lives of these insects.

What to Expect

For those living in affected areas, it’s a chance to witness one of nature’s most extraordinary events. The emergence will be most noticeable in wooded areas, especially near water sources. Cicada enthusiasts and curious onlookers are encouraged to document their sightings through apps like Cicada Safari, which helps scientists track cicada populations and study the effects of climate change on these insects​.


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