What happens when cicadas erupt en masse right into the National Zoo?

Brood X cicadas are ascending by the millions into the middle of Washington D.C., home to an abundance of wildlife—and 2,700 zoo animals.

A Brood X cicada sits on a leaf in the National Geographic photo studio in Washington, D.C. It’s one of trillions now emerging across 15 states in the eastern U.S., after spending 17 years underground. The nation’s capital lies at the epicenter of their emergence.

Read This Next

Humans are creating hot spots where bats could transmit zoonotic diseases

‘Lake bagging’ is trending. What is it, and how can you do it safely?

Too hot to live: Millions worldwide will face unbearable temperatures

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet