Scientists suspect the sounds that once were thought to be the cause of the mysterious "sonic illness” affecting diplomats in Cuba were probably crickets, specifically the noisy mating call of male Indies crickets. If you think crickets couldn't possibly make that much noise, note this from an article on the subject in the New York Times:

“Mr. Stubbs recorded short-tailed crickets while in Costa Rica, and he found their songs overpowering. “They’re incredibly loud,” he said. “You can hear them from inside a diesel truck going forty miles an hour on the highway.”

Stubbs went on to say the cricket chirps may have been wrongly associated with whatever may be causing the medical problems diplomats have suffered.

“It’s entirely possible that they got sick with some other completely unrelated thing that was not a sonic attack, or that they were targeted in some other way.”

Of particular interest to me, a guitar picker and singer of songs, was this:

“Male singing insects produce regular patterns during courtship. Females are attracted to certain males based on their songs, which has led to the evolution of different songs in different species.”

Turns out, humans are not so different from insects, as we might like to think. Hell, there once was a bunch of humans who called themselves The Chirping Crickets:

Enquiring minds thought you'd like to know. Rave On, my fellow oldies.

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Comment by Rosigami on January 7, 2019 at 10:36pm

Ha! I thought this was going to be a post about how quiet things have become around here. Glad I was wrong. 

I could listen to those Crickets rave on. And the sound of a few crickets on a warm summer evening is very familiar and appealing. It's all music. I am not a fan of great volume, though. It's painful. 

Comment by koshersalaami on January 7, 2019 at 10:51pm

When I was just out of college and I practiced with a rock band in the basement, I refused to kill crickets we found down there. Musical insects. 

Comment by Tom Cordle on January 8, 2019 at 7:48am

Rosi   You're right about it being quiet around here. Back in the Open Salon days, this post would have had fifty comments by now. But hey, I'm thankful for what we've got here, and glad you stick around.

Comment by Tom Cordle on January 8, 2019 at 7:49am

Kosh  You and I are lucky we still have our hearing, rock on, Brother

Comment by alsoknownas on January 8, 2019 at 8:26am

I remember playing in a guitar and harmonica duo on Ken Kesey's land at a huge festival. The front row or three of dancing and admiring crickets were shirtless. It was quite distracting.

Comment by Tom Cordle on January 8, 2019 at 4:47pm

AKA  I'm envious; I never had that particular pleasure, though I have played in the company of many well-endowed crickets- er go-go girls. Also played behind a stripper once, but she was certainly no Gypsy Rose Lee, closer to Roseanne Barr.


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