Playing the alien cicada what if game


Their serenade keeps getting louder and louder. Am I strange for finding it somehow enthralling?

People have been freaking out this year as the Brood X cicadas have emerged from the ground in eastern and central US. When I first experienced the swarm 17 years ago, I stayed inside and cringed every time one of the bumbling flying bugs hit a window. This time, I'm out in the yard and letting them land on me as I wonder what if...

More aliens would likely be like insects than mammals. What would aliens similar to cicadas be like?

The aliens would only come above ground once in a long cycle. That way they're safer from being invaded themselves. Maybe there were frightening creatures on their home planet that hunted them long ago, but are now extinct or very rare.

To ensure their success in populating a new planet, they swarm. There are so many of them, it doesn't matter if the planet's native lifeforms fight back. The shear number of the aliens would eventually overwhelm everything else and take over. When they do breed, they lay hundreds of eggs to increase the chances of some surviving.

While they cannot bite or sting, the noise they make can drown out most other noises. These aliens may have taken it a step further, and their song deafens other creatures. Can you imagine their ships coming down on a sunny day with such a chorus it explodes your eardrums?

A lifeform doesn't need to be extremely smart or deadly to survive a long time. Cicadas have been around for nearly 200 million years. Maybe they are aliens who landed on Earth long before humans evolved!

What do the cicadas inspire in you?


  1. Hi Christine - cicada inspiration is their longevity and how do they do it - that 17 year 'itch' to appear above ground amazes me! Is it 17 or 9 years ... still it bemuses me. Someone posted a photo of a rat snake full of cicadas! Cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary! I was the one that posted the snake picture. I met it on an evening walk. :) 17 years amazes me too.

  2. I love the way your writer's brain works! The cicadas might be looking for a new "queen bee" and must choose from outside their breed due to inbreeding abnormalities. They choose the lady in the front yard to hatch their eggs--but how to get her underground?

  3. Scary thought about a truly alien insect invasion. Luckily, the Catskills was not infested!


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