Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another "Baseless Rumor": Cicadas in Japan This Summer Have Been Awfully Quiet

(Warning: Photos may be too disturbing to some people.)

This is one of those bits of information that people in Japan have been exchanging on the social media since the beginning of summer: "I don't hear cicadas this year".

A typical summer in Japan is hot and humid (except in a few lucky places like Hokkaido), and the air is filled with the "singing" of cicadas.

But this year, people report that cicadas are either extremely quiet or totally silent in large part of Japan. The exception seems to be the Kansai area, but almost everywhere else people say they don't hear cicadas, and it's been a strangely quiet summer.

It is quite possible that it's been like that every year and people have started to pay heightened and nervous attention to the nature around them after the nuclear accident.

But some people have started to post the photos of cicadas they've found this summer. No wonder they don't "sing". Again, it is quite possible that cicadas in Japan have been malformed for a long time and people have just started to notice, and it's nothing to do with radiation.

Picture of a cicada supposedly taken 60 kilometers from Fukushima I Nuke Plant, on July 22:

A cicada 120 kilometers from the plant. The person who took the photo says on her August 15 blogpost that it was on the ground and trying to flap its wings, and died soon:

Cicadas 300 kilometers from the plant. The person who took the photo says in her blog that in normal year about 100 cicadas hatch in her garden between mid July and mid August but this year the hatching peaked out in early August. He/she also says the male to female ratio is very lopsided this year (way more females than males, and only males "sing" to attract females), and he/she's found 8 cicadas so far that were unable to get out of the shells and died before they could hatch. In a normal year, he/she finds only one or two that fail to hatch and die.

He/she suspects these cicadas may have gotten their radioactive nutrition from the roots of the trees that have been absorbing radioactive materials since the nuke accident. Radioactive fallout like radioactive cesium cannot have penetrated deep enough into the ground to affect cicadas directly.

Cicadas spend between 3 to 17 years underground before they hatch and live a brief summer. Some say only a week, others say as long as one month.

There is another possibility why cicadas are quiet, and that's not good either. It is said in the folklore that the summer before a big earthquake hits is very quiet without hardly any cicadas.


Anonymous said...

I live in Chiba/Tokatsu area with elevated radiation levels and we have lots of cicadas, like every summer.

Anonymous said...

Come to Tokyo... the little buggers are singing their asses off.

Anonymous said...

Why you put "baseless rumor" in inverted commas? That's all it is. You could just as believably say, the phenomenon is due to global warming.

Anonymous said...

What? How about a little more hard science since we are going to criticize the bozos that run the country? A while back you ran a piece that said plants in central Tokyo are dying, absolute nonsense. It had not rained for awhile and that was the probable reason for a few plants to dry up. Jeff Rense the BS artist on the internet then spread that story far and wide as if radiation were the cause. What crap.

In central Tokyo cicadas are all over the place, the best cicada season ever!
Please stick with your excellent analysis of governmental dissembling and bumbling, that is your forte Ultraman.

Twitter and tweets? More BS. Even in your story about how some worker supposedly saw steam coming out of cracks, apparently proving massive corium hitting the ground water (with no proof or verification), Russia Today has this BOZO clown dumbass named Thom Hartmann claiming it as fact and the claiming professor Kodama has shocked the world with the "news" that the radiation released from Fukushima was 30 Hiroshima bombs. The good doctor choose those words specifically to wake up the brain dead Japanese, but his statement was not news. As early as early April the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan separately estimated the amount at 630,000 terabecquerels or radiation that was released, about 10 or 15 percent of Chernobyl, which is just what 30 Hiroshima's is compared to Chernobyl.

Amazing how outdated facts can suddenly become "big news" when ego maniacs need to give a buzz on the internet to boost ratings. What crap manipulation of facts I have seen on the internet, disgusting.

As for Chris Busby, the guy is a hero but not entirely reliable. Originally he said 220 thousand Japanese will die and later in April he said 400 thousand will die, and then in July when I saw him speak in Tokyo he said "220" thousand will die. He has interesting information but does not give us a clear picture. If you notice it is RT that carries his reports, it is part sensationalism and part journalism.

I prefer the solid journalism of Ex-SKF.

Anonymous said...

I think that is the point. As long as the large scale radiation contamination is just a baseless rumor. The central government doesn’t have to spend the massive amount of money that will be required to “truly” decontaminate the affected areas.

Anonymous said...

Blogposts and tweets from concerned citizens of Japan are no less credible than the articles by Yomiuri or Asahi, even Mainichi. MSMs were disseminating absolutely baseless rumor that everything was safe and under control. They even fired journalists and actors for spreading "rumors" who dare said (correctly) on the national TV that the reactors were probably melted early on.

Quiet summer without cicadas was written into an article that appeared in a popular daily in Japan, by the way.

Anonymous said...

No, of course I don't mean to defend the establishment media paid liars, I just expect better quality journalism from the grassroots.

Anonymous said...

"In central Tokyo cicadas are all over the place, the best cicada season ever!"

As you know there is hardly any radiation in Tokyo itself...

Anonymous said...

Looks like the well-paid Nuclear PR spin artists are out in force today. I think having your blog mentioned by Arne Gundersen of has stirred the hornets nest...

They are running scared as they know the truth about the horrors of a run-away nuclear accident are being revealed each and every day since 3-11.

Just ignore them and stay the course. You know you are doing important work here.

Keep it coming!

Jim Bowling said...

Actually we are all going to is just a question of when...

Anonymous said...

They are really noisy here in Kyoto.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm from northwestern part of the 23 wards, but I do see and hear cicadas (the brown "aburazemi") as normal as two years ago (last year ie 2010 I see it as a downside). Strange indeed, these days they prefer to sing in nights (even around midnight). Guessing maybe too hot out there during the daytime. Even more strange is that I feel I see less butterflies than normal years. Maybe just incidental.

Anonymous said...

We all got the impression here in Hyogo that the Semis didn't start singing en mass until a week into July, and didn't seem like so many were around.
usually it's going through June we start hearing them more and it seemed late, though, now it's fine, and frankly we can blame whatever happened seven or more years ago for whatever is wrong with them since that's when their eggs were placed.

Besides, those things only live a week anyway so seeing them spontaneously die isn't alarming.

Maju said...

"Again, it is quite possible that cicadas in Japan have been malformed for a long time and people have just started to notice, and it's nothing to do with radiation".

What's the chance? Seriously.

Unknown said...

I wonder if cicadas in rural areas are getting impacted more than cicadas in urban areas. Cicadas actually have quite a long life cycle, so I would suspect quite a lot of radiation exposure would be required for deformity.

Some mitigating factors of urban areas:
1)Drainage systems that channels away contaminated water (so that it does not penetrate as deeply into the soil)
2)Artificial watering (creates a barrier of moist soil so that contaminated rain water does not penetrate too deeply)
3)Building structures (contaminated dust sticks to their surface and is washed into the sewage system)

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to Marc Sheffner who posted earlier, he has his head right up his arse, the situation is dire here in Japan and pricks like Sheffner are apologists... he talks a good talk but is full of BS

Anonymous said...

I noticed today an extreme fasciation occuring as the most vigorous and highest new growth on several branch tops in a neighbours evergreen,never saw it there before.

Could be a coincidence but you know what they say about cristate cactus,radioactive soil.

Anonymous said...

The situation in Japan is far from dire. In fact, despite the MSM duly reporting on every twitch coming out of Fukushima, despite the government inspecting (and stopping) shipments of beef, despite the populace now becoming well-versed in the arcane science of becquerels and microcuries, the place is functioning fantastically well. And it may be shocking for some readers to learn that there is still greenery here, there are cicadas singing, and I've even heard a "baseless rumor" that some babies were born recently that did not have three heads.

Anonymous said...

Botryoidal coria instead of massive?
Strontian Druzes?

Anonymous said...

The malformations as seen on these photso are similar to what is observed in insects in and around Chernobyl.

From CinnamonJapan

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see more pictures of plants. Here in Romania I've taken pictures of leaves turning white on bushes, trees and even coniferous bushes and trees. If anyone is interested I can email them. Write to me at

I would like to get in contact with the author of this blog to compare pictures. The 2 pictures in another article on this blog are the ONLY pictures of affected plants I've found anywhere on the internet. That's just wrong because we know the fallout is affecting plants across the world in an obvious way, but no one is touching the subject.

Anonymous said...

I AM NOT A NUKULAR APOLOGIST! Just insist on accuracy:

Excuse me but according to the report, which was what I was reacting to, it makes blanket claims that "Japan" has seen less cicadas except for Kansai. When I point out there are plenty of then in Central Tokyo someone tells me there isn't much radiation in Tokyo. It could very well be that cicadas and all living things are dying off because of the radiation, but tweets and twits are hardly a scientific way of gathering and analyzing data.

Anonymous said...

I trust peoples instingts and if they are telling them that there is something wrong, be aware.

I got shils down my spine reading this, and I dont give a shitt about the nuke hooligans, why.
3 fu.. good reasons and they are getting wurse, day by day.
You got to be a druling idiot not to realise the naked facts, and also remeber that this selfimposed denile is going to kill people.

The time is not for arguments anymore, we have 3 meldtdowns and outs. We are instead waitsing presious time, and now Time is becomed a essens of survival.
The goden rule in radioactivity is, to get the hell out of there as fast as fu.. possible, and as far away as possible.

And even wurse, in the end this cotinously shittshoweling must stopp and peoples helth must be a priority. Because the radioactivity is still mounting and will accumulate, day by day.


Anonymous said...

Don't be fooled folks, the above is obviously a post written by one of our "so-called" friends in the nuclear industry, purposely written in poor English to make the anti-nuclear group look ignorant.

Stay vigilant.

Anonymous said...

I have noticed the increase in Pro Nuke dickheads posting comments here on EXSKF... take your nukes and fuck off we have had enough of this dirty technology

Anonymous said...

Ultraman your science is as good as any other, you found the same kind of mutations as seen around Chernobyl. People who are in denial of the horrendous amount of radiaton Fukushima is releasing in Japan should check the rainout of Fukushima shit in Toronto-
Wake up North America, this is serious contamination.
TEPCO the traitors to humanity are keeping Daiichi open and this is still happening now!!!

Anonymous said...

For an interesting take on the "Act of God" that supposedly occurred on the eleventh of March 2011, go to .
What is even more interesting than the hypothesis that he proposes regarding the "accident" is the idea that the nuclear fuel cycle has been completed.


Anonymous said...

For what its worth, on March 11th 2011 the maple trees up here in Northern Michigan where still bare. While I can't prove my little theory I noticed that the Maple's this year are the most lush with leaf growth I've ever seen.

In fact all plant life seems to have accelerated rates of growth with more profuse flowers.

I have noticed a reduction of smaller moths and butterflies over the summer but a real jump of crickets and frogs.....
I expect a very colorful fall here this year. Just and observation I've made.

Anonymous said...

There's no shortage of little moths here in Arizona. Little buggers have seemed to take up residence in my house in 2012 by the bucket load. I for one am tired of turning back to my coffee and finding two or three little suicides floating in it.

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