Yes, it’s a real thing, synchronized fireflies, or some people refer to them as lighting bugs. These are a species of fireflies (beetles) that light up the bottom part of their abdomen, in a synchronized manner, as a mating ritual. This mating phenomenon only happens in a few places in the world, and we here in north Georgia are fortunate to live so close to several of these locations in the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee.
I am very fortunate that I get to see them again this year. This will be my third time I head up to Elkmont State Park for three days of camping, hiking, and viewing the synchronized fireflies. Their mating season lasts for about 2-3 weeks in late May or early June. The dates that this begins varies from year to year determined on soil moisture and air temperature.
I’ve always been an avid camper, whether it is simply car camping or primitive back camping, I love being in the wilderness with no phone or internet service. This weekend I am once again going to view the fireflies do their mating ritual (hope they don’t mind all the voyeurs that will be there!). There are 16 of us going camping at the Elkmont State Park campground for the weekend which just happens to be one of the most popular viewing places in America.
People from all over the world come to see this flashing mating phenomenon. You need to plan far in advance if you want to stay at the campground or you can join a lottery for a parking pass. There are also tour buses that come to the park from towns nearby like Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Yes, Pigeon Forge, the home of Dollywood, which some of us plan to make a day trip to and ride the rollercoasters. Dollywood has a great selection of rollercoasters. I can’t wait!
To learn more about the synchronized fireflies, here is more good info from the experts at the National Park System in this article, click here: Synchronous Fireflies .
CBS Sunday Morning Show did a good piece in this video….