In the spring of 2013 the cicadas in the Northeastern United States will yet again emerge from their seventeen-year cycle—the longest gestation period of any animal. Those who experience this great sonic invasion compare their sense of wonder to the arrival of a comet or a solar eclipse. This unending rhythmic cycle is just one unique example of how the pulse and noise of insects has taught humans the meaning of rhythm, from the whirr of a cricket’s wings to this unfathomable and exact seventeen-year beat.

Listener Essay - 17 Year Cicadas

May 7, 2013

    Tom Judson is an actor, musician and author living in Greene County, NY. His book "Laid Bare: Essays and Observations" is available at He writes a regular blog for Huffington Post and you can follow him on his website.