Science Channel debuts specials themed around Brood II cicada invasion

As billions of the Brood II cicadas rise from the earth and begin sweeping across the eastern United States over the next several weeks, after last having done so 17 years ago, Science Channel is readying for the invasion with a programming event this Saturday, May 26, featuring two specials — the network premiere of Swarm Chasers, followed by the world premiere of Cicadas and Invaders 2013.

Science Channel looks to give viewers everything they need to know about the Brood II cicadas with these programs, with Stuff You Should Know podcast personalities Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, along with Science Channel expert and University of Maryland entomologist Michael Raupp, on hand throughout the evening with “Cicada Data.” Josh, Chuck and Professor Raupp examine cicadas in the heart of their natural habitat in central North Carolina, offering an up-close look at the cicada phenomenon. They’ll describe what to expect, how long the Brood II swarm will be flying about, the cicada life cycle, cicada recipes (!), natural cicada predators and more.

The Swarm Chasers special, making its Science Channel premiere May 26 at 8pm ET/PT, is about a different, but perhaps more famous, bug horde — locusts. The program shows how scientists are on a mission to find out more about locusts to help end their destructive behavior (when on the swarm, they can number in the billions and devour everything in their path).

Immediately following, from 9-11pm ET/PT, is the world premiere of Cicadas and Invaders 2013. This special counts down the world’s wildest swarms of arachnids, bugs, mammals, fish and other creatures that can run rampant. Experts and witnesses to these hordes weigh in with facts, footage and the science behind the swarms.

If all of this is not enough to make your skin crawl, Science Channel has also just launched Cicada Cam, a live look at Science Channel’s terrarium to see just how these swarmers are born, eat and live out their life cycle. (As you can see in the screenshot posted above, it looks like they have the cicadas set up to crawl over a model of what appears to be the U.S. Capitol building.)

Swarm Chasers airs May 26 at 8pm ET/PT on Science Channel.

Cicadas and Invaders 2013 airs May 26 at 9pm ET/PT on Science Channel.