The Huffington Post Andy Campbell First Posted: 05/21/13 EDT Updated: 05/22/13 EDT
They're a bunch of sex-crazed, partying teens, and they've risen from below the earth to ruin your nap.
No, it's not an episode of "Jersey Shore," it's CICADAPOCALYPSE 2013! Billions of harmless, non-poisonous, non-biting, non-disease-ridden, but extremely loud cicadas are crawling up the East Coast right now, and they're going to be getting down in your back yard.
But what drives them to the surface after 17 years lying in wait? The hilarious duo that runs the Stuff You Should Know podcast is hosting a three-hour special on the Science Channel to explain the cicada migration and other creepy crawly swarms.
"Cicadas definitely like to party," Josh Clark, half of the Stuff You Should Know duo, told HuffPost Weird News. "Their sole purpose [of coming to the surface] is to procreate. What's interesting is that there are billions because so many get eaten -- they fill up the predators so they can't eat anymore."
Clark, Chuck Bryant and University of Maryland entomologist Michael Raupp will explore cicadas in the heart of their natural habitat in North Carolina. They'll give a sense of what to expect, the cicadas' lifespan, and even a few cicada recipes on the "Cicadas and Invaders 2013" event, which premiers Sunday, May 26 at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Until then, you can bet that the cicadas will be bugging a home near you. Bryant said that they'll be above ground for four to six weeks, when the adults will lay eggs in the trees and then die.
"Their nymphs hit the ground, burrow into ground and latch onto a tree root, where they'll stay for another 17 years," Bryant said.
Meanwhile, those in more suburban areas of the East Coast will hear cicada noise that's as loud as 94 decibels -- equivalent to a lawn mower or an airplane passing overhead.
"You should probably stay inside if you don't like bugs," Clark said. "They don't bite, sting, or carry disease. But they're really terrible at navigation and they tend to bump into people. They'll hit you in the face and bump your head."
Want to know where the swarm is headed? Check out Magicada.org's map, which shows the last 500 reports of spotted cicadas. And the Science Channel has a live cicada cam (below) for your viewing pleasure: