Fireflies synchronize in the Congaree National Park - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Fireflies synchronize in the Congaree National Park

(Source: WIS) (Source: WIS)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Have you ever seen a firefly light up in your backyard?

It's one of those you have to see-it-to-believe-it moments. This weekend thousands of them are lighting up at the same exact time at the Congaree National Park.

Congaree National Park said they appear to be the most active from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. It’s one of the only places and times you can see this phenomenon.

Former park ranger Fram Rametta said more people joined than on their busiest day of the year. Rametta started the fireflies walk 40 years ago.

The event has grown since then and Saturday evening hundreds of people joined at the Congaree National Park to watch the synchronized fireflies.  However, it wasn’t always this famous. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park also has two weeks out of the year when the fireflies synchronize.

That became so famous they now have a lottery system where they only let 2,000 people attend each year.

Luckily it hasn't become quite that big at the Congaree National Park but park goers we're talking about their worries of that happening.

Rametta said it’s believed to be a mating event for the fireflies. They only synchronize their lights two weeks out of the entire year and it usually happens when the sun goes down.

Rametta described it as a Christmas light show. 

"We started noticing the Firefly synchronicity in the 80's and it kind of spread by word of mouth," Rametta said. "Only two to three weeks during the year the fireflies converge and start to blink their lights together. It's sort of like a mystery who is conducting this firefly synchronicity. It's a miracle."

Sylvanna Knapp works as a student volunteer to welcome visitors. 

"This is a head lamp, you have to have a headlamp here in the national park so the fireflies don't get scared and hide because the light is too bright," Knapp said. 

Saturday was the first time ever that park ranger worked in the park until 10 p.m. at night because of the growth this event is seeing year after year.

Park rangers believe there is one more weekend to see this synchronized light show.

There is a list of firefly viewing etiquette that watchers need to take heed to: 

  • Please be considerate to other visitors viewing this phenomenon.
  • Because of the increased number of visitors, we ask that everyone keep noise levels to a minimum so that everyone can enjoy this special natural occurrence.
  • Use red filters on your flashlights. Bright lights can disturb the fireflies’ flash pattern and make it difficult for other people to see.
  • Do not use flash photography. The flashing can be difficult to capture on camera/video.
  • Parking is limited. Carpool when possible.
  • Be prepared for the weather.
  • Fireflies are only here for a few short weeks. Please do not capture them in jars or take them with you.

Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved. 

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 4 dead, 4 injured in Waffle House shooting

    4 dead, 4 injured in Waffle House shooting

    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:55 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:55:32 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 12:02 PM EDT2018-04-22 16:02:35 GMT
    Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)

    Four people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch. A white man wearing nothing a green jacket went into the restaurant and started firing a gun resembling an AR-15. Police are still searching for him. 

    More >>

    Four people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch. A white man wearing nothing a green jacket went into the restaurant and started firing a gun resembling an AR-15. Police are still searching for him. 

    More >>
  • Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:11 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:11:04 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:23 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:23:15 GMT
    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    More >>

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    More >>
  • 4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

    4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:34 AM EDT2018-04-22 12:34:45 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 11:55 AM EDT2018-04-22 15:55:51 GMT
    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)
    Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    More >>

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    More >>
  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • Tourists at iconic French abbey evacuated after threat

    Tourists at iconic French abbey evacuated after threat

    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:24 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:24:35 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 12:06 PM EDT2018-04-22 16:06:44 GMT
    Authorities are evacuating tourists and others from the Mont-Saint-Michel abbey and monument in western France due to an apparent threat against security services. (Source: Raycom Media)Authorities are evacuating tourists and others from the Mont-Saint-Michel abbey and monument in western France due to an apparent threat against security services. (Source: Raycom Media)
    Authorities are evacuating tourists and others from the Mont-Saint-Michel abbey and monument in western France due to an apparent threat against security services. (Source: Raycom Media)Authorities are evacuating tourists and others from the Mont-Saint-Michel abbey and monument in western France due to an apparent threat against security services. (Source: Raycom Media)

    Authorities are evacuating tourists and others from the Mont-Saint-Michel abbey and monument in western France after a visitor apparently threatened to attack security services.

    More >>

    Authorities are evacuating tourists and others from the Mont-Saint-Michel abbey and monument in western France after a visitor apparently threatened to attack security services.

    More >>
  • 4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

    4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:34 AM EDT2018-04-22 12:34:45 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 12:06 PM EDT2018-04-22 16:06:37 GMT
    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)
    Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    More >>

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    More >>
  • Road to N. Korea's denuclearization is littered with failure

    Road to N. Korea's denuclearization is littered with failure

    Saturday, April 21 2018 9:44 PM EDT2018-04-22 01:44:28 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 12:06 PM EDT2018-04-22 16:06:32 GMT
    (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool, File). FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2018 file photo, Kim Yo Jong, left, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, shakes hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in P...(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool, File). FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2018 file photo, Kim Yo Jong, left, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, shakes hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in P...

    A look at previous nuclear negotiations with North Korea and how the currently planned talks between Seoul, Pyongyang and Washington took shape.

    More >>

    A look at previous nuclear negotiations with North Korea and how the currently planned talks between Seoul, Pyongyang and Washington took shape.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly