GENEVA, N.Y. — Scientists studying the 17-year cycle of cicada populations have discovered one of the insects appeared only because Space Jam: A New Legacy is being released in theaters.
Cicadas in the Great Eastern Brood (commonly known as Brood X) emerge every 17 years for previously unknown reasons. After discovering a live cicada specimen tunneling out of the ground wearing a Bugs Bunny/Toon Squad shirt on its abdomen, ecologists formed a new theory.
“After seeing the old memorabilia on the insect, we looked into previous brood emergences and found some of them lined up with the release dates of sequels to beloved Hollywood films,” explained Dr. Seymour Palmotti, head of the Insect Diagnostic Lab at Cornell University. “Simultaneously, major brood infestations had occurred within movie theaters.”
The last major appearances of Brood X were in 2004 around the releases of Shrek 2 and Meet the Fockers, and in 1987 around the sequel to Beverly Hills Cop.
“Though the cicadas live a short life,” Dr. Palmotti posited, “we can take solace in the fact that some of them may spend the majority of their lives chasing the nostalgia of entertainment properties nearly two decades old, like some humans do.”
Further study was delayed indefinitely when the Space Jam fan angrily burrowed back underground after seeing the redesign of Lola Bunny.