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Synchronous Fireflies

The symphony of light in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park


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Synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus) are probably the favourite of the 19 firefly species of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Every year between May and June for about two weeks, they put on their mating display in the darkness of the forest in the Elkmont Area. Male beetles fly and flash the light, and then females ones respond with the flashes. Noone knows the exact dates, but scientists assume the phenomenon depends on the temperature and the soil humidity.

The park service provides advice on the best spots to watch the fireflies show, and even run a shuttle bus service to enhance visitors' experience.

By the nights the lights should go off so that everyone can enjoy the scene. First, when you see so many people sitting on the portable chairs waiting for a miracle, it seems a bit odd, but when the first twinkles appear in the darkness, the magic starts.

The tickets for the event are usually sold out way in advance based on a lottery. So, make sure you get a spot.

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