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I was reading an article today regarding the Cicadas which appear once every 17 years.

Is there any Sefarim that discuss this phenomenon?

Also if they were created at the time the world was created, 5773 years ago - then we are off a bit, as 17 x 339 = 5763 and 17 x 340 = 5780. So how does this figure in all the way back to the creation of the world?

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    what if we count from the mabul -- according to akhlah.com/jewish-traditions/timeline site, it began in 1658, so it ended in 1659, 4114 years ago. 4114 is 17 times 242.
    – rosends
    May 23, 2013 at 17:56
  • @Dan, jinx! I too wondered if the flood was a factor and just asked this. May 23, 2013 at 18:00
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    Re: your second point - classic "chicken/egg chakirah." Why do you assume that the cicadas were created as adults, rather than in some other stage of their lifecycles? IIRC, Maharil Diskin says that in general eggs came first!
    – Dave
    May 23, 2013 at 22:51
  • Who is to say that they always had this system/cycle, perhaps it was something that developed over time or some other factor? May 26, 2013 at 6:58

1 Answer 1

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If we count from the mabul we get a different answer. According to this site, the mabul began in 1658, and it lasted a year, so it ended in 1659, 4114 years ago. 4114 is 17 times 242.

Cicadas come from the ground when, after their rest period (which varies by species) the ground warms up. I would think that the mabul would have reset that clock and the world would have started fresh from there.

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    Your answer is great, yet I would love to see a Sefer that discusses this. I am accepting your answer, however may redact it if someone else posts an actual source. May 23, 2013 at 19:41
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    I aspire to, someday, be an actual source ;)
    – rosends
    May 23, 2013 at 20:06
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    I appreciate your effort, but this answer is futile. There are dozens of cycles that cicadas have. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodical_cicada#Broods There are different groups that pop up almost every year.
    – Double AA
    May 23, 2013 at 21:39
  • @DoubleAA, sounds like the beginning of an answer.
    – Isaac Moses
    May 23, 2013 at 21:59
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    @IsaacMoses I'm much more interested in "Is [sic] there any Sefarim that discuss this phenomenon?" though I doubt it because it's mostly a North American thing.
    – Double AA
    May 23, 2013 at 22:13

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