Mothman: Revealed!

Once upon a time, in the year 2017, I thought I had solved the Mystery of the Mothman, the terrifying monster of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. The legendary creature frightened that community in the 1960s, resulting in alleged cover-ups, a Hollywood movie, rumors, panic, a little museum, and a nifty statue. It may also have been connected with a bridge collapse which killed nearly fifty people.

In my previous article, if you did not pause to read it during paragraph one, told you what it actually was. Despite another post I have made which described in a scientific manner exactly what the Mothman Life Cycle is like, I never believed even for a second that he was a man of moth. I was leaning towards “government accident shrouded in falsehoods and deception,” but that was before what I have come to know in the summer of 2021.

A simple drawing of a cicada with red eyes and wings, standing upright like a human.

Cicadas.

You may be aware that this is a year of a cicada swarm that is enveloping a large chunk of the United States. Brood X, it is called. Here at the Sneer Headquarters, there are a lot of cicadas milling around, screaming at us if we dare to get too close.

They have been around for weeks now, and that’s just enough time for my brain to finally put some pieces together, secretly, so that it can surprise me with a fully formed crackpot theory seemingly from out of nowhere!

Look at the periodical cicada. Look at its features. Big red eyes, a grey body, a horrible rasping call… These are the main characteristics of the Mothman! Imagine a cicada that is six feet tall, a god of cicadas that has emerged a year too late for Brood V, which is the swarm of cicadas that Point Pleasant has on its 17 year cycle. Their brood hit them in the year 1965, and the so-called Mothman was wreaking havoc in 1966-1967.

A dark drawing, set at night. A silhouette of a cicada with red glowing eyes is in flight, screeching "eee ooo eee ooo"
When cicadas fly at us, they seem six feet tall, too.

Imagine being a cicada, excited to see the giant source of all cicadas, only for it not to show up. Imagine being the Cicada-Man, waiting seventeen years to be worshiped accordingly, but your alarm didn’t go off so you were too late to see everyone. No wonder it instead terrorized a small town of people — it was searching for its family!

This also explains very easily why it is that we don’t see a large human sized cicada any other time. During a successful swarm, they are probably covered in the normal cicadas and we humans look away in horror, thinking that we are seeing a thoroughly coated small tree.

But yes, that’s right. I think that there isn’t just one Mothman, but one for every cicada swarm, a fresh one each time, and that there are dozens living underground for cycles of thirteen or seventeen years.

A chart showing the Life Cycle of Mothman. First there is a single red egg, and then a baby which is a little blue-grey form with wiggly legs and red eyes. Then a frightening "nymph" which looks like a cicada nymph only dark blue-grey with red eyes. It has an exaggerated claw. Next is the "molt" phase where the mothman is erupting from the back of the nymph shell. Then there is the final form, the Mothman as an adult.

In a normal brood, there is a Cicada-man out there among the trillions of regular sized cicadas. Cicada-man is both mother and father, as it emits the harsh cry of the male cicada, yet it alone lays its own single red egg, preferably beneath an ill-fated bridge that has fallen into disrepair.

By the next year, the egg hatches and baby “mothman” falls to the riverbank below. It burrows in to become the “nymph” as you see it in the drawing. The nymph is a terrifying clawed creature that lives underground, eating anything living that it encounters. It is about the size of a small modestly priced hatchback car.

After seventeen years, it crawls to the surface where it soon emerges from its needless last form. The husk decays rapidly and transfers its powers to the now-adult creature that was formerly known as Mothman, but now we know better.

The truth was out there all along!

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