For a few short weeks each year, Elkmont Ghost Town in Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee becomes the site of a magnificent synchronized firefly gathering. This video, which premiered on BBC Earth, was released in 2016 as part of SKYGLOW, a crowdfunded project to explore the effects and dangers of urban light pollution. SKYGLOW recently released a hardcover photo book to go along with its timelapse video series. You can purchase SKYGLOW’s book here.
As for the fireflies, the 2017 Elkmont Fireflies Event happened on May 30 to June 6, 2017, so it’s over for this year. Check back; maybe that same link will have dates for 2018 at some point. Just know that Elmont has been overwhelmed by tourists in recent years, and the National Park Service now restricts the number of people who visit Elkmont during the peak of firefly season.
So plan ahead!
Bottom line: SKYGLOW’s video, ‘Elkmont Symphony’ is a timelapse journey through Smoky Mountains National Park during world’s largest gathering of synchronized fireflies.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.