Read our COVID-19 research and news.

Cicadas that come out every 17 years may emerge more often in the future

This year, billions of cicadas descended on the eastern United States. Unlike other groups of the insects, which show up on a yearly basis, this year’s crop—known as Brood X—only appears every 17 years. Yet some people saw Brood X in 2017. Researchers suspect a warmer climate could be triggering the “periodical cicadas” of Brood X and others to emerge 4 years early. Watch to learn how periodical cicadas permanently altered their life cycles in the past—and why it might happen again.