Though the coronavirus pandemic has robbed thousands of the chance to see one of the Smoky Mountain's most stunning natural phenomena in person, a non-profit group plans to stream the event online for the world to see.
Each year, thousands flock to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee to see the park's famous synchronous fireflies — a species of firefly native to the region, and the only species of firefly in America that syncs its lighting pattern to the beetles around them.
No one is sure why the fireflies in the Smokies blink in person. But on early summer nights, parkgoers are treated to one of the most breathtaking natural light shows in America.
The window to see the synchronous fireflies in the Smokies is tight — their mating season lasts just two weeks, leaving just a few days to catch the show at its peak. And with the coronavirus pandemic keeping parks closed across America, Great Smoky Mountains National Park was forced to cancel all events linked to the 2020 firefly season.
Luckily, Discover Life in America (DLIA), a non-profit based in the Smoky Mountains, is teaming up with firefly photographer Radim Schreiber to livestream the beetles. The group will launch a YouTube live stream at 8 p.m. ET on June 1, so the whole world can experience the synchronous fireflies.
While the event is free to view, DLIA is asking for $5 donations so they can continue their work to promote biodiversity in the region.
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