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Watch the Great Smoky Mountains' famous fireflies online

This is the first time the fireflies have gone virtual.

Written by
Sarah Medina

From live-streaming the Northern Lights to watching Old Faithful erupt online, our selection of virtual tours of beautiful places to watch from our couches was seemingly endless at the beginning of lockdown. While live-streaming fatigue may have set in recently, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to view a natural wonder from the Great Smoking Mountains has us excited to settle on the couch with our laptop again. 

Nonprofit Discover Life in America (DLiA) is collaborating with firefly photographer Radim Schreiber to broadcast the famous, synchronous fireflies in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (which is already reopen for visitors). The event, which will be hosted for free on YouTube, will include a short presentation about fireflies followed by footage of the glittering insect show. DLiA staff will also answer questions live in the chat. 

The Virtual Fireflies Event goes down on Monday, June 1 at 8pm ET on YouTube.

Log on to see the world-famous synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus) as well as blue ghosts (Phausis reticulata) and other firefly species native to the Smokies region. The Photinus carolinus, also known as Elkmont fireflies, are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Each year the fireflies put on a synchronous light display in order to find a mate. They are the only species in America whose individuals can synchronize their flashing light patterns.

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