Weather Advisory: It’s Raining Cicada Pee
Not everyone is looking forward to the emergence of the Brood X cicadas in 2021. Even if they don't keep you up all night with their 100-decibel songs or give your pets indigestion, the insects may find another way to ruin your day. As The Washington Post reports, hikers walking through certain parts of the country this summer may be sprinkled with cicada pee.
To regulate their body temperature, cicadas drink a lot of watery xylem from trees. After cooling their body with the fluid, they quickly squirt it out. Standing beneath a tree buzzing with cicadas on a hot day can feel like being caught in a rain shower.
Though getting doused with cicada juice isn't exactly pleasant, it won't hurt you. The "pee" is actually excrement commonly known as honeydew. The sticky, sap-like substance is high in sugar, so wear a hat when you're walking through the great outdoors if you don't want the stuff on your hair or face.
The pee from the Brood X cicadas native to the eastern U.S. is more of a spritz, but in other species, it's a full stream. Singapore is home to the Chremistica umbrosa [PDF] cicada species. You can watch their waterworks show in the video below from a safe, dry distance.
[h/t The Washington Post]