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What the Heck Is This?

(Image credit: Rhonda Gardner)

Rather than an obscure close-up like we often present, we show you the whole shebang today. The question is: Can you figure out what's actually going on?

No hints today. Well, okay, one: It involves cicadas. But what does the image reveal?

If you guessed what I first guessed, you're wrong, and like most men, perhaps you think about that a lot. There are not two bugs here. It's actually one cicada shedding its exoskeleton. The bug is a member of Brood 19 which, after 13 years underground, is emerging across the south this spring. Very, very noisily.

Got a strange or interesting photo related to science, nature or technology? What the Heck, send it to meand maybe I'll use it. And you follow me on Twitteror Facebook.

Robert Roy Britt
Rob was a writer and editor at starting in 1999. He served as managing editor of Live Science at its launch in 2004. He is now Chief Content Officer overseeing media properties for the sites’ parent company, Purch. Prior to joining the company, Rob was an editor at The Star-Ledger in New Jersey, and in 1998 he was founder and editor of the science news website ExploreZone. He has a journalism degree from Humboldt State University in California.