Friday, August 31, 2007

Nature's revenge - Cicadas crashing the internet

Because any interruption of my internet connection leaves me feeling as if one of my limbs had been severed, I notice small articles like this from the Aug. 30 Nature Magazine. A clip:
A cicada known as the kumazemi is descending on Japan en masse...cutting households off from their Internet. Apparently mistaking fibre-optic cables for withered branches, they have been punching their one-millimetre-diameter ovipositors into the cables and laying eggs. In at least 1,000 cases over the past two years, the cicadas have either severed the cable or opened up a hole, allowing water to seep in. The Osaka-based Nippon Telephone and Telegraph West Corporation has responded by creating new cables that lack the grooves that the cicadas target with their ovipositors ...

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