It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

What Did I See On the Night of 12 April?

page: 1
4

log in

join
share:

posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 10:40 PM
link   
I live in a small South Asian country, rather poor and backward but famous for its amazing scenic beauty and the variety of its landscapes. Much of the southern portion of the country is covered in jungle, full of elephants, bears, leopards and other wildlife as well as hundreds of species of native and migrant birds. Frankly, it's a bit of a tropical paradise.

On 12 April I was smack in the middle of this paradise, staying at a primitive but luxurious (yes, the combination is possible) jungle hideout owned by a friend of mine. There were four adults and two children present – a full house. It had been raining hard – my Land-Rover nearly got bogged down on the way in – but that evening the cloud lifted and we had a beautiful clear sky. It had been nearly twenty years since I'd last seen so many stars. Somebody had Stellarium on a laptop but there were so many stars it was actually hard to make out the constellations. The rising Milky Way lay like a great glowing ribbon upon the treetops. Astronomically it was a special time: next day, the sun would be directly overhead at noon, and a stake planted in the ground would have no shadow. It was, in fact, New Year's Eve by the traditions of my country.

We were sitting on a balcony or deck that extends south from the first floor of my friend's house, looking out over a clearing planted with grass and small fruit trees. Beyond this was a river, audible but invisible. A line of tall trees, thick black silhouettes against the star-strewn night, marked where the river was – and where the view ended.

The trees and surrounding bushes were alive with fireflies. There were thousands, maybe tens of thousands, making a display that rivalled the brilliant spectacle in the heavens. One tree seemed to attract them especially; a big kumbuk that was literally festooned with lights, as if it had been a Christmas tree. At first, these lights flickered randomly, the way fireflies normally do – but then, to our amazement, all the fireflies in that one tree began to wink on and off in unison, slowly, not at all regularly but all absolutely in time with one another. The whole tree was brightening and dimming, all at once, just as if it had been a real Christmas tree hung with fairy-lights. But unlike real fairy-lights, the fireflies' pulses, though synchronized, were irregular. It was almost as if some kind of communication was being attempted – firefly Morse. It was one of the most bizarrely beautiful things I've ever seen. After a while – about half an hour or so – it stopped.

None of our party had seen such a phenomenon before, or even heard of it, but when I returned to town I spoke of it to others, and two people told me they had seen the same thing. Coincidentally or not, they had both been in the same part of the country when they saw it. Neither had an explanation for it.

So... does anyone know exactly what it is I saw on the night of 12 April? There is no doubt the synchronized firefly flashes were real; six people saw them with their own eyes. Two were children who had drunk nothing stronger than milk. And later, two more people confirmed to me that they, too, had experienced the same thing for themselves.

Any theories?


edit on 21/4/12 by Astyanax because: of stylistic second thoughts.




posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 10:49 PM
link   
Sure is a shame no one had a camera, then MAYBE one could share the magic with you and come up with a theory, like Amex never leave home without your kodak, especially if you are going to such a Luxurious place in the jungle, never know what may pop it's head up. without any evidence i am going to hazard a wild guess, your host rigged up a Xmas tree complete with flashing lights



posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 10:49 PM
link   
Was it like this?



This website talks about it being a phenomenon that's also been discovered in the Smokey Mountains of the United States. Synchronized Smokey Mountain Firefly
edit on 21-4-2012 by TheLieWeLive because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 10:52 PM
link   


Synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus) are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They are the only species in America whose individuals can synchronize their flashing light patterns. Fireflies (also called lightning bugs) are beetles. They take from one to two years to mature from larvae, but will live as adults for only about 21 days. While in the larval stage, the insects feed on snails and smaller insects. Once they transform into their adult form, they do not eat. Their light patterns are part of their mating display. Each species of firefly has characteristic flash pattern that helps its male and female individuals recognize each other. Most species produce a greenish-yellow light; one species has a bluish light. The males fly and flash and the usually stationary females respond with a flash. Peak flashing for synchronous fireflies in the park is normally within a two-week period in early to mid-June.


wow, I answered your question in 30 seconds with a google search.

Imagine how much I know over the past 10 years!


link or it didn't happen
edit on 21-4-2012 by MESSAGEFROMTHESTARS because: additional statement





No one is sure why the fireflies flash synchronously. Competition between males may be one reason: they all want to be the first to flash. Or perhaps if the males all flash together they have a better chance of being noticed, and the females can make better comparisons. The fireflies do not always flash in unison. They may flash in waves across hillsides, and at other times will flash randomly. Synchrony occurs in short bursts that end with abrupt periods of darkness.

edit on 21-4-2012 by MESSAGEFROMTHESTARS because: additional statement



posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 11:50 PM
link   
reply to post by MESSAGEFROMTHESTARS
 


wow, I answered your question in 30 seconds with a google search.

What did you answer?

I know I saw fireflies; I told you so in the OP. And I know firefly flashes are reproductive behaviour; everybody knows that.

When you can explain why they flashed synchronously – what that very special behaviour means – and why it was only one tree in a garden full of fireflies that engaged in it, then you will have answered my question.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:08 AM
link   
reply to post by TheLieWeLive
 

I had to switch browsers to watch the video, hence the delay in replying.

What I saw was a little like that, but also different. The brightening and dimming was more gradual, less of a flash and more like real Christmas-tree lights. Also, the timing was irregular.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:13 AM
link   
reply to post by dreamstalker
 


Like Amex never leave home without your kodak, especially if you are going to such a Luxurious place in the jungle, never know what may pop it's head up.

I never carry a camera. I am a writer. My friend who owns the place where this happened is a well-known filmmaker; there were several cameras lying about the place. However, all the adults present that night are of the persuasion that life is best experienced directly, not at second-hand. It would not have occurred to any of us to take a photograph.

Incidentally, anyone who suggests that I am lying or deluded is welcome to that opinion; I couldn't care less and I have no intention of trying to prove that I really did see what I said I saw.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:16 AM
link   

Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by MESSAGEFROMTHESTARS
 


wow, I answered your question in 30 seconds with a google search.

What did you answer?

I know I saw fireflies; I told you so in the OP. And I know firefly flashes are reproductive behaviour; everybody knows that.

When you can explain why they flashed synchronously – what that very special behaviour means – and why it was only one tree in a garden full of fireflies that engaged in it, then you will have answered my question.


If you're looking for a complete answer, and one that is accepted by the scientific community... then you will be disappointed.
here again, is the answer:



No one is sure why the fireflies flash synchronously. Competition between males may be one reason: they all want to be the first to flash. Or perhaps if the males all flash together they have a better chance of being noticed, and the females can make better comparisons.


You want an educated guess?

They went to one tree to further ensure the greater success in percentages as to the amount of sexual relations to be had between the population of fireflies. Simple

They flash in unison, as to be brighter, ensuring that there will be said relations between the sexes.
edit on 22-4-2012 by MESSAGEFROMTHESTARS because: additional statement



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:18 AM
link   
reply to post by MESSAGEFROMTHESTARS
 

I already know that it is a scientific mystery. I did my own googling before making the thread.

I am interested in people's theories, yours included. The more bizarre, the better. If you can explain why all the fireflies in a tree need to flash in unison to further their individual sexual agendas, I want to hear it.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:32 AM
link   

Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by MESSAGEFROMTHESTARS
 

I already know that it is a scientific mystery. I did my own googling before making the thread.

I am interested in people's theories, yours included. The more bizarre, the better. If you can explain why all the fireflies in a tree need to flash in unison to further their individual sexual agendas, I want to hear it.


I thought I answered that part...



They flash in unison, as to be brighter, ensuring that there will be said relations between the sexes


What is brighter and easier to detect? A single firefly flashing at will, or the flashing in unison of thousands?

The reason for this event taking place, for there is always a cause. Is probably rooted in the weather. I'm sure rain is not conducive towards the prosperity of fireflies. I'm sure it inhibits their movement, as well, may injure or kill them. This threat, is the very reason for them doing so I'd imagine.

does that suffice, or is further explanation of this theory needed?



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:46 AM
link   
reply to post by MESSAGEFROMTHESTARS
 


What is brighter and easier to detect? A single firefly flashing at will, or the flashing in unison of thousands?

Since each firefly is competing for an individual mate, your explanation fails the test of plausibility. But thanks all the same.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 01:02 AM
link   

Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by MESSAGEFROMTHESTARS
 


What is brighter and easier to detect? A single firefly flashing at will, or the flashing in unison of thousands?

Since each firefly is competing for an individual mate, your explanation fails the test of plausibility. But thanks all the same.


Is it not possible that this species may adopt a different means under the circumstances of being in an environment that is conducive towards weather that may impact the species self-preservation. Maybe they sacrifice the idea of competing individually, for the good of the species...

Although much more research is warranted, as to being able to draw said hypothesis...

Oh, and btw, again, a simple 30 second google search would have yield the appropriate literature as to providing possible answers...
such as:
Flash Communication Systems of Japanese Fireflies1
icb.oxfordjournals.org...

overview:



Display, courting, and mating behavior of the aggregative, synchronously flashing firefly Pteroptyx tener were analyzed with the aid of high-gain video recording. Males flash synchronously with other males under a variety of conditions, including flight and many phases of courtship, competition with other males, and mating. The courting male perches on the back of the female, rocks backwards and forwards, flashes his lantern directly into her eyes, and strikes her abdomen with his hind pair of legs. Characteristic flash exchanges occur before copulation, which is also accompanied by flashing by both sexes. The behavior of interloping males and the counter-behavior of the primary male are described. The import of these behaviors is discussed in relation to theories of the evolution and adaptive significance of synchronous flashing. It is suggested that the brilliant illumination of the female's eyes by the male may prevent her from seeing signals from other males or they from recognizing her emission.


I'm still sticking with my original hypothesis... LOL!

in addition, here is a link that might prove useful in future inquiries that you may have:
scholar.google.com...,5
edit on 22-4-2012 by MESSAGEFROMTHESTARS because: additional statement


also, I did not see mention of environmental conditions being addressed in the presented journal, I'm still sticking with my hypothesis LOL(again!)
edit on 22-4-2012 by MESSAGEFROMTHESTARS because: additional statement



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 02:55 AM
link   

Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by dreamstalker
 


Like Amex never leave home without your kodak, especially if you are going to such a Luxurious place in the jungle, never know what may pop it's head up.

I never carry a camera. I am a writer. My friend who owns the place where this happened is a well-known filmmaker; there were several cameras lying about the place. However, all the adults present that night are of the persuasion that life is best experienced directly, not at second-hand. It would not have occurred to any of us to take a photograph.

Incidentally, anyone who suggests that I am lying or deluded is welcome to that opinion; I couldn't care less and I have no intention of trying to prove that I really did see what I said I saw.


Ouch I did not intend to suggest you were telling a fib, wow a filmaker and a writer, apparently not documentaries and apparently a fiction writer, i agree life is best experienced personaly, myself I do not ever have conversations on any subject without having photo or newspaper evidence to back it up.

You probably can appreciate there are some skeptics out here in fibber land, i feel like a you and us society now, guess I am missing all the fun, Oh Well



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 11:26 AM
link   
reply to post by Astyanax
 


everything I know about fireflies I learned - just now - at firefly.org

:-)


Firefly eggs glow.

Adult fireflies aren’t the only ones that glow. In some species, the larvae and even the eggs emit light. Firefly eggs have been observed to flash in response to stimulus such as gentle tapping or vibrations.
www.firefly.org...

maybe it was all larvae - and a breeze, the rocking movement of the trees or some other kind of motion/noise got them going and they were all responding to the same stimulus at the same time

nature is way cool

:-)



posted on Jul, 3 2012 @ 09:42 AM
link   
reply to post by Astyanax
 


I saw an article about this a while back, which led me to a video of the fireflies in the Smokey Mountains and I was a bit underwhelmed by it... I think you're right and you have to be there.

No theories, apart from other mirroring behaviour, like giant flocks of geese that all turn seemingly simultaneously, though it's a matter of the first one doing something and each bird in succession following the one in front so quickly that it looks synchronized.

Actually, I just popped by to say "hi" to my old friend -- hope that you're doing well and I love the dog profile picture



new topics




 
4

log in

join