Fireflies don’t like to travel. Each of these beetles stays in a single area their entire lives, and for a few weeks every year, their homes light up in the most stunning ways!

These light shows can happen around the world, but on this edition of Saturdays Around the World, we’re being transported to the forests of Tlaxcala, Mexico to take a peek at the life of one particular species of firefly we can only find in that area.

Image: People standing away from us on a forest trail in Mexico surrounded by the lights from fireflies.

Fireflies near Tlaxcala, Mexico
Source: Courtesy of Mike Corey
Find more of his content on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Patreon.

“Visiting the Firefly sanctuary near Nanacamilpa, Tlaxcala, Mexico was completely unbelievable. Thousands of them, … spinning and swirling around us and into the tree tops. Lighting up IN SYNC with each other like a coordinated light show. It didn’t feel like planet earth, it felt like I stood up too fast and was seeing stars, it felt like I stepped into fantasy.”

Those words are from Mike Corey, the YouTube creator who’s bringing us along on his visit to the firefly sanctuary. If they don’t make you want to jump in a car, bus, or plane and get over to these forests, then the video below sure will.

And we’re lucky that his video exists!

The areas around the forests benefit from visitors coming in to view the firefly show, but the fireflies themselves aren’t. These beetles lay their eggs on the ground and their larvae spend years living in the soil. So, when tourists traipse about and explore these areas, it can end up hurting their populations.

That’s where these sanctuaries come in. They make it so a limited number of people enter the forests, through trails and viewing areas, keeping the fireflies as safe as possible to ensure future generations of light shows! 1

So sit back, grab a cup of something tasty, and enjoy this very special look into one of the worlds almost supernatural wonders.

If you’d like to learn more about this firefly (Photinus palaciosi), how this type of tourism even began in this region and to see some additional photos, then you’re definitely going to want to check out this article from National Geographic!

And make sure you check out more of the amazing places Mike has been with a visit to his YouTube channel, Fearless & Far and his Patreon! And give him a follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to stay up to date with all of his adventures!

Image: Fireflies in woods

Fireflies in Kanazawa, Japan
Source: Rodd Lucier // United Nations University

But why do the fireflies synchronize?

Did you notice their pulsating patterns in the above video? They’re amazing! And there’s a reason for them. Becky Nichols, an Entomologist at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in the United States, lets us in on why in this quick video from National Geographic!

Via: National Geographic 3“Watch: Fireflies Glowing in Sync to Attract Mates | National Geographic.” YouTube, National Geographic , 4 Sept. 2016, Accessed 15 Aug. 2018. 4

Check out our past article all about that specific light show in Tennessee!

12 minutes

Fireflies: A Synchronized Light Show

There's a visual wonder of summer that most of us adore, even though we know very little about it. How about the magic of fireflies?

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It’s hard not to argue it’s an amazing world when nature is out there putting on performances like this.

Stay open to new possibilities! You’re bound to stumble into something wonderful.

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” — Albert Einstein

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  1. “Visitors Are the Chief Threat to Fireflies in Forests of Tlaxcala.” Mexico News Daily, Mexico News Daily , 24 July 2017, Accessed 15 Aug. 2018.
  2. “AMAZING FIREFLY SANCTUARY [THOUSANDS] | TLAXCALA MEXICO.” YouTube, Fearless & Far, 26 July 2017, Accessed 15 Aug. 2018.

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and taster of cheeses.