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Four Ways 17-Year Cicadas and Dubstep Are The Same

On the left side we have the sweet sounds of the periodical cicadas, the giant, red-eyed insect that emerges from the ground every 17 years in the northeast. On the right, we have a song called “Bangarang” by Skrillex, a well known dubstep artist. Today, I’m going to explain to you how these bugs have more in common with the music genre of dubstep than you think.
Dubstep definition

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)


These cicadas invade the northeast every 17 years. Most dubstep fans are about 17 years old. They were either infants or gestating the last time cicadas were above ground.


Dubstep has been a part of the electronic music world since the late 90s. Since then, dubstep has gained in popularity and fallen into obscurity multiple times. Some music fans believe dubstep is a brand new phenomenon, but that’s only because this wave of dubstep popularity is the first to exist in a world obsessed with social media and streaming videos. Cicadas are much more conservative with their timing. Rather than emerging every few years, they wait nearly two decades. When they do, they take the northeast by storm. They are adored and sought after by reptiles, birds, squirrels, and cats. Easy prey.


Dubstep is not a type of music that is set at a reasonable volume. If you are going to listen to it by choice, it’s going to be loud. Very loud. If I hear a dubstep song booming in a nearby car or outside my house, I’m going to close the window. The same can be said for the cicada mating call, which can sometimes register at over 100 decibels. Why force yourself to listen to it? You may need to take extra measures during the height of CicadaMania, mainly because there are so many of them, the sounds could penetrate a window. Turn on New Jersey 101.5 and the air conditioner and you’ll be fine.


Dubstep artists and some diehard fans of the genre are known for having crazy haircuts and outlandish clothing styles. While intimidating to someone who may not know the dubstep culture, this could be intimidating. The same can be said for a cicada. I mean, just look at these things. They’re gross. Absolutely disgusting creatures. They’re giant winged insects with bulging red eyed. Know this: The 17-year cicada and anyone associated with dubstep are absolutely harmless. All bark, no bite.

All in all, cicadas and dubstep will come and go throughout our lifetime, but you have nothing to fear.

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