Door-opening insect mega-swarm emerges in Eastern US, descends on Washington DC

We're gonna need a bigger rolled-up newspaper

Threats to humanity's dominance on Earth are oft-featured here at The Register, with aspiring usurpers ranging from dancing robots to peckish rats.

However, a new source of potential doom has now quite literally emerged in the Eastern US. Observers there have been preparing for the appearance of the cicada swarm referred to as Brood X – also known as the Great Eastern Brood – for some time, a task made much easier by this particular group's well-documented 17-year life cycle.

But the billions-strong hexapod hordes have never displayed any intent to upset the natural order and take over the world. Until now.

In a chilling video reportedly shot at the Hampton Inn near Princeton, New Jersey, Twitter user Andrew R Gordon has revealed that cicadas are now capable of opening doors, an ability previously thought to be possessed only by humans, velociraptors and certain particularly sassy cats.

It is not known if this desire to gain access to enclosed spaces is a prelude to a bloodthirsty purge of humanity or if the insects just fancied a rest in the hotel's air-conditioned lobby, following a bout of the frenzied coupling that characterises their septdecennial outbreaks.

Given their inscrutable, compound-eyed expressions, it is obviously difficult just by looking at them to ascertain the exact intentions of Magicicada septendecim, Magicicada cassinii and Magicicada septendecula – the three species that constitute the unfathomable insectoid mass that is Brood X.

But from new evidence coming in, it is clear some sort of reckoning is coming and sadly, this impending war between Homo sapiens and the billions-strong hivemind may be all our fault.

Research has shown that far from being an unending stream of countless insects, Brood X swarm numbers have dropped sharply in recent iterations, a fact seemingly related to increasing urban development in the eastern US. This has resulted in a decline in the numbers of trees the cicadas need to lay their eggs in, and whose roots their long-lived nymph forms feed on.

Having learned of this obvious danger to their future prospects, Brood X may have decided to stage a final do-or-die push to crush humankind, before their numbers dwindle to the point where such an effort is impossible. And it is becoming clear that this final push will take the form of a decapitation strike against the leader of the free world: US President Joe Biden.

Yesterday, Emmy-winning broadcast meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts reported that a gigantic cloud had been picked up on weather radar covering Washington DC, much of central Maryland and parts of northern Virginia. But rather than a thunderstorm, this was in fact one huge, vengeful cloud of cicadas.

We can't be sure of their intentions, but it doesn't look good.

Heaven help us all. ®

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