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Synchronized Fireflies - Most Unusual Show Of Nature

April 07, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 165

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the host of millions of visitors each and every year. They come to soak in the natural beauty and serenity that these ancient forested hills provide. To enjoy a quiet walk along a stream of gently flowing water by day, and strolling through the streets of a nearby town at night. Thousands of folks will gather together in a small section of the Park after sundown and sit - waiting for the most unusual light show that nature can dish out.

The main characters of this show are not costumed actors on a stage trying to make you laugh, nor are they banjo-playing musicians. Instead, they are fireflies ( commonly called lightning bugs ). But these are not the typical ones that you and I used to catch in the back yard. The Synchronous Fireflies have been displaying their unusual talent for many years, and more and more visitors to the Smokies are being attracted to the show.

According to park officials, there are about 15 different species of lightning bugs in the Smoky Mountains. However, the Elkmont area of the Park is home to the Synchronous Firefly. With literally hundreds of thousands of these insects flying around, it's difficult to walk around without bumping into a few of them. What makes these different than your average firefly is that they all flash their beacons in abslolute perfect synchronicity - putting on the most dazzling light show you have ever seen. Imagine thousands of miniature strobe lights flashing on and off at EXACTLY the same instant all around you. Many describe the show as a constant flashing lasting nearly 6 seconds, followed by 6 seconds of darkness. And if you are lucky, you might be able to catch a little wave action - similar to what you would see the fans do in a football stadium.

These Synchronous Fireflies are said to be in only one other part of the World - Southeast Asia, but the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the only place to view them in the Western Hemisphere. This amazing display and light show takes place for only a two week period during the summer, typically the first half of the month of June. The Elkmont area of the Park is where you want to go. Vehicles are not allowed, but you can catch one of the trolleys at the Sugarlands Visitor Center, located only two miles from Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Coolers are also prohibited. However, blankets, lawnchairs, and bagged food are allowed.

Greg W. Pett is the owner of Pett's Wood Signs and a very frequent traveller to the Smoky Mountain Region.

Source: EzineArticles
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