Tennessee February 06, 2016
This Strange Phenomenon In Tennessee Is Too Weird For Words
Did you know that the Great Smoky Mountains boasts a stunning natural display every year? For two weeks, the world is privy to one of the most beautiful insect mating rituals in the world. Take a peek!
The firefly. You've probably caught one or two of these in your life if you're from Tennessee, maybe heard of them in movies if you aren't so lucky. It's in the eastern part of the state, though, that they have quite the story to tell.
For roughly two weeks out of the year, through mid-May to mid-June in East Tennessee, one strain of fireflies flash synchronously. Yep - at the same exact time.
The flashing is a mating ritual, and the National Park service offers shuttles that will take visitors to firefly-dense areas for their viewing pleasure. The phenomenon is real, folks.
Fireflies combine luciferin and oxygen with the enzyme luciferace that resides in their teeny tiny lanterns to make light.
The light that they emanate is considered "cold light," which means that almost 100% of the energy exuded is clean light. By contrast? A normal light bulb emanates 10% light and 90% heat. Crazy science.
Did you know that fireflies don't eat once they are adults? They are only fully formed for twenty-one days, but it takes two years for them to get there.
It's a crazy thing, fireflies. The calling card of the south, the insect that makes childhoods magical in this beautiful part of Tennessee. A commonality shrouded in mystery.
It’s a neat thing, hey? To see how magnificent our world really is, the creativity that’s housed in it. Leave your thoughts on this gorgeous annual display below!