Over the next several weeks, billions of cicadas will rise up from underground in the Eastern United States, sprout wings, and then have sex. If you live in an area where the cicadas are expected, you will not mistake their arrival. In their frenzied quest for mates, cicadas make a ton of noise.
The females make a clicking noise with a flip of their wings. The males — which make a buzzing noise reminiscent of a lawnmower — find these clicks to be very sexy. They will immediately divert their attention if they hear a female click nearby.
Here, esteemed nature documentarian Sir David Attenborough demonstrates. "I can imitate the female's wing flip with a snap of my fingers," Attenborough says in his unmistakably husky voice in this clip from a BBC program below.
In snapping his fingers, Attenborough draws the cicada toward him, closer and closer. And then the cicada jumps towards Attenborough, to continue the courtship in a more intimate matter.
"The noise is awful," Attenborough says as the cicada hums sweet nothings into his ear.