‘Zombie’ Cicadas Expected To Invade New York, Hudson Valley
Sex-crazed "zombie" cicadas are coming to New York with their "flying salt shakers of death."
The largest colony of cicadas is starting to emerge after spending about 17 years underground. The loud black and red flying insects are known as the Brood X cicadas and have been living underground as nymphs since 2004.
Billions of cicadas are expected to emerge from Tennessee to New York making a high-pitched, continuous buzzing sound. This year's cicada invasion is expected to be "exceptional" in the Hudson Valley with USA Today reporting that the potential for 1.5 million cicadas per square acre.
The cicadas were expected to emerge during the first week of May, but scientists believe unseasonably cold weather delayed them.
However, the Brood X cicadas are officially starting to emerge in Kentucky and Tennesse, so Empire State residents should expect them very soon.
West Virginia University researchers recently discovered some cicadas carry a fungus containing chemicals similar to those found in hallucinogenic mushrooms, making them "zombie-like fliers."
"They are only zombies in the sense that the fungus is in control of their bodies," West Virginia University Assistant Professor of Forest Pathology and one of the study's authors Matt Kasson said. "They also engage in hypersexual behaviors."
The fungus causes cicadas to lose their limbs and start acting weird. Despite the fungus consuming their genitals and butts male cicadas try to mate with everything, spraying the disease or their " flying salt shakers of death" on other cicadas with a dose of their disease.
Researchers also told Science Daily, you've heard of "The Walking Dead." This is "The Flying Dead."
Two of Kasson's students loved cicadas. Matt Berger convinced him to study the fungus while Angie Macias named these zombie cicadas the "flying salt shakers of death," Science Daily reports.
About 10 percent of the trillion cicadas are expected to be infected with the disease, the New York Post reports.