As long as we have to deal with millions of cicadas this summer, we might as well learn about them.

Cicadas aren't a new bug. They and their signature song have been around for millennia. That gives ancient Greeks, the Chinese culture, and many more to give them backstories and significance.

In many cultures, cicadas stand for rebirth, resurrection, and new beginnings. But white cicadas are unique too.

The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy

A white cicada isn't rare to see around here this summer but you can miss it quickly. It's a young nymph becoming an adult. Their black skeleton hasn't developed yet.

I couldn't find academic confirmation on where this came from, but a legend that's going around is that you shouldn't look into the crack of a white cicada's back, as it will steal your soul since it doesn't have one.

Another great cicada story is the Greek goddess Eos who asked the gods for immortality for her human lover, Tithonius. She forgot to add the part about eternal youth so he kept aging until she didn't know what to do with him so she made him into an "ever-complaining cicada".

Rough breakup.

The legends also get quite poetic. Others say that cicadas are children of the sun and of the moon and they cry at sunset because they're being abandoned. Another theory is that cicadas are reincarnated poets who are crying out the poems that they didn't get to write while on earth.

Cicadas have been around for at least 40 million years so there is no shortage of stories and lore about them.

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