Why Are Cicadas So Good At Math?


What Are Cicadas?

Cicadas are these loud pests, which swarm in a scheduled manner. They are not to be afraid of. They are not like locusts which can wipe out the crops. Cicadas have straw like structure in their mouths which help them drink liquids out of plants. They have living under the ground and doing that for over a decade.


Also known as the periodical cicada, these have the longest life cycle known to exist in any other insect. These life cycles are in the number of 13 and 17, which are prime number. They have these patterns of living under and coming out only at the end of these years. That is why one might see a rise in the number of cicadas at a particular time. The reason behind these prime numbers is that the chances if them being preyed up bigger predators is lesser and more sustainable in these years. Compared to a 12 or a 14-year cycle.

How Do They Come Out Of The Earth?

Although there isn’t a particular time for when and how they rise, but when the temperature of the soil is 64-degree Fahrenheit during spring, the younger cicadas come out and go up the trees to achieve their final form as a full-grown cicada. That is when the male cicadas start with their really loud singing for weeks.

Predator Satiation

During they time when they are out of the soil and growing and flying around. They are prey to many other bigger insects and animals. But as the female cicadas lays so many eggs, their population stays intact regardless.

So, the big question remains, how do they come to calculate these prime number? The answer is they did not. They have evolved and understood the patterns in the nature in order to protect their species. The threat of being preyed and understanding of other species has made them adapt to the environment for their own wellbeing.

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