In 1935, U.S. biologist Hugh Smith found himself lost deep in the Southeast Asian jungle, floating down a river in pitch darkness. As he progressed farther in his canoe, he saw what appeared to be lightning strike one of the mangrove trees on the banks of the river. And then, to his astonishment, it struck the same tree again, and many more trees around it, one by one.
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What Smith saw that day turned out to not be lightning strikes, but rather a biological phenomena called synchrony, wherein the lightning bugs that were sitting on those mangrove trees all lit up in perfect unison. And this discovery turned existing research on these insects upside down.