The species – Brood X – have descended on states across the eastern and southern U.S. after a 17-year hiatus. Trillions of the insects will deposit their shells in states including Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Normally, residents have no choice but deal with the shells wherever they go: Stuck to trees, scattered across the ground, wherever bugs might go.
However, a recently rediscovered art piece from 2018 has spurred others to similar creative pursuit.
Twitter user @Ride_Hero_ created a giant monster-inspired creature out of dozens or even hundreds of cicada shells. The monster takes inspiration from old Japanese monster movies and shows, like Godzilla, Ultraman or Super Sentai – the show that Power Rangers is based on.
The striking sculpture inspired similar work from other artists: Twitter user @YizzyYu created a replica of a Xenomorph from the Alien movie franchise.
"They’re evolving!" she tweeted. "Getting ready for the coming cicada emergence with some art inspiration from ride_hero’s creations and other cicada shell artists out there."
The art is so unbelievable that Snopes ran a fact-check on the art, confirming that, yes, people are harvesting hundreds of shed cicada shells to make monster sculptures.
For those curious, user @rlavemmN8fX18pY showed a step-by-step of how he made a cicada statue of classic Ultraman monster Baltan in Oct. 2020.
Some people have taken a more mainstream approach and simply created art inspired by cicadas.