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Are blue-eyed cicadas real, and can they earn you $1,000?

West Harrison, IN, boys find unusual cicada in yard
Blue Eyed Cicadas.jpg
Posted at 8:43 AM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 08:43:55-04

WEST HARRISON, Ind. — The rumor is back and spreading on social media like a swarm of cicadas: Is it true that if you find a rare, blue-eyed cicada, you can get a $1,000 reward?

Two West Harrison, Indiana boys, Leo and Eli Lerch, found one in their yard, and shared the photo with WCPO meteorologist Jennifer Ketchmark. Their rare find was shown on WCPO's "Good Morning Tri-State."

Blue Eyed Cicada.JPG
Leo and Eli Lerch with blue-eyed cicada

Billions of cicadas are now popping up all over the Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states, and Ohio is in the epicenter. With the Brood X surge, a hot rumor has emerged that you can earn big money if you find a rare, blue-eyed cicada.

Most cicadas have red eyes, but experts said one in a million have blue eyes.

Blue Eyed Cicadas.jpg
Blue Eyed Cicadas

Where does the rumor come from?

People are sharing social media posts that say if you find one, some researchers will pay you $100, or even $1,000. But it's not true, according to the Baltimore Sun, which investigated the claims during the last invasion in 2004.

According to the report, a Baltimore radio DJ was offering $10 for blue-eyed cicadas. That somehow translated into a "big reward." Now, 17 years later, the urban legend is back, just like the bugs.

Still, if you find a dead, blue-eyed cicada, put it in a jar and offer it to a local school, or send a picture of the cicada to your favorite local TV meteorologist. You might get your name mentioned, just like Leo and Eli.

As always don't waste your money.


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