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Cool time lapse video shows a cicada shed its skin

Cicadas are a staple of summer. The insects' loud buzzing sound -- produced by the vibration of tymbals, membranes found in the abdomens of the males of the species -- brings with it promises of warm weather and time spent outdoors. Usually heard but not seen, these noisy bugs are getting a moment in the spotlight thanks to a video posted to Facebook by Mark Anderson of Alice Springs, Australia.

Cicadas have a highly unusual life cycle. The insects stay burrowed underground for 17-year dormant slumbers. Once they are ready to make their grand entrances, they emerge in their "nymph" stage, affixing themselves to a vertical surface like a tree trunk. Then, their shells split down the middle, cracking open, before they wiggle away, wings extended.

This process usually takes an hour. But in Anderson's time lapse video, you can see a cicada burst forth and take flight in only about 30 seconds.


Time lapse of cicada

Posted by Mark Anderson on Saturday, January 16, 2016
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