If your childhood memories are filled with summers spent chasing fireflies, then you’re going to love this new theme park in China. It’s completely dedicated to the glowing insects that naturally illuminate their habitat at night.
The park, located at the East Lake Peony Garden in Wuhan city, central China’s Hubei province, is home to about 10,000 fireflies. The insects are divided into five separate zones – the flying zone, the observation zone, zero-distance contact zone, breeding zone, and the science popularization area. Each zone is meant to cater to different categories of visitors, right from casual visitors to researchers.
Breeding fireflies is a rather costly affair – around 10 yuan (US$1.61) per insect – but totally worth it from a business point of view, as the Chinese seem to be positively in love with them. They will pay big bucks to see the little bugs twinkle at night, and tickets for such parks are usually sold out for several days as soon as they hit the market.
Fireflies were a normal part of summer nights through most of China, but their numbers have been dwindling for years, as a result of pollution and destruction of their natural habitats. Taking advantage of this sad situation, enterprising businessmen have been setting up firefly parks, not all of them environmentally friendly, and even selling jars full of live fireflies online.
Given that fireflies are seasonal, the park opened on May 30 this year and will continue to operate until early October. However, following the success it enjoyed this year, the Wuhan firefly park has become an annual event, and will be opened again next year.
They’ve got lots of attractions – dinosaur exhibitions, camping festivals, family walks, and children’s activities, all held under the warm glow of fireflies.