The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one place on Earth where you can find a synchronized natural fairy-like light show every year. The magical beauty of the fireflies doing their mating dance and sending synchronized lighting signals as they swoop and dive among the forest trees is something you must see at least once in your lifetime.
There are about 2000 species of fireflies (actually beetles) in the world, but there are just a few of those species that can synchronize their flashes with one another almost like a choreographed Broadway show – only better. The Smoky Mountains have about 19 different species of fireflies and they all do their own dance and flash their lights in different patterns. The light patterns can be whimsical, delightful and simply wonderful to watch as these lovely little beetles fly through the sky with the intent to find a mate.
Every year there are scientists monitoring the time frame for this spectacular natural event. Depending upon the weather leading up to April and May each year, the event is either earlier or later but always fantastic. Now it is so popular that the roads are closed and you actually have to get a ticket to see one of nature’s most unusual and beautiful annual events. In fact, it is limited to between 6000 and 8000 visitors and campsites are booked well in advance.
In total darkness, male fireflies take flight and give out bright flashes of light while females are closer to the forest floor and have dimmer but still beautiful responding flashes. The males also flash in concert so their lights are brilliant together.
If you get a chance to see this phenomenal natural event in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park you will indeed be lucky as this region has the best concentration of fireflies in the area even though there are other pockets throughout the Appalachian Mountains.
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