Heat and Cold

Measuring Temperature

Can crickets be used as thermometers?

It has long been known that crickets chirp at different rates depending upon the temperature. While calculating temperatures based on this is not ideal, it can serve in a pinch if you find yourself without a thermometer—and provided it’s not the dead of winter. The general rule is to count how many times a cricket chirps during a 14-second interval. Add 40 to that figure, and the result is degrees in Fahrenheit. If you have more patience, count the number of chirps over the period of one minute. Take the number of chirps you hear, subtract 72, divide by 4, and add the result to 60, which gives you the degrees in Fahrenheit ([chirps – 72] / 4 60 = degrees F). For example, if you hear 68 chirps, then 68 minus 72 equals –4, divided by 4, equals –1. Add this to 60 and the result is 59°F.


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