Have you ever found yourself sitting around a fire, no cell phone service to be had, having a drunken argument about what the temperature is outside?
Well one of your standard bar arguments is about to be taken care of once and for all, assuming you have a stopwatch and the ability to count.
To get there, we need a brief review of elementary school science. Certain animals are warm blooded (humans) and can stay active through the winter and colder temperatures. Thank goodness, otherwise we couldn’t ski or snowboard. Others, like reptiles, are cold blooded. That means their activity level varies based on temperature outside. When you see a lizard sunning itself? It’s using external heat to increase it’s core temperature.
Crickets, like many reptiles, are cold blooded. That means their activity level varies based on the temperature outside. The chirping you hear on a summer’s evening is the mating call of a male cricket, no different in intent than the eerie bugle from an elk in the fall. Different though, is how the noise is generated. It occurs externally, by rubbing the wings together. The speed those wings rub together varies based on temperature outside.
There’s a bit of debate among communities as to the exact formula to use, but the farmer’s almanac says this:
Air Temperature = # of Chirps in 14 seconds + 40
Now all your drunken arguments can be solved, with one minor caveat – as crickets are cold blooded, this only works down to about 50 degrees. Below that, and you’re on your own.
And that is this weekend’s edition of DID YOU KNOW!?!