On Wednesday, the band Owl City answered a question about the hit song “Fireflies,” and the band’s response will have you in stitches.
“In the song ‘Fireflies’ you state ‘I get a thousand hugs from 10,000 lightning bugs.’ How do you interpret this statement?” a Twitter user named pryce asked the band. “Does each firefly hug you 1,000 times or do only 1/10th of the bugs give you a hug?”
This pedantic question seemed rather unfair, asking a band to explain its irrational lyrics, when it is notorious for irrational lyrics. But the band took it on, and in very scientific language.
Here is the response in full:
I was the recipient of 1,000 hugs from 10,000 lightning bugs for a grand total of 10,000,000 hugs. As the lyrics of the song clearly state, the average layperson would not believe their eyes if 10,000,000 fireflies were to illuminate planet Earth, nor would the average person conclude by natural instinct that 10,000 lightning bugs, acting as a collective group, are capable of embracing a human being 1,000 times without difficulty. By the same token, a gathering of lightning bugs in such vast numbers form a sort of “swarm,” and a swarm can collectively surround a human and deliver a “hug” that a single firefly, acting according to the dictates of his conscience, simply cannot.
Consequently, I was embraced 1,000 times by 10,000 luminescent insects.
This may seem inconceivable due to the firefly’s soft-shelled body, which is common among all winged beetles within the Lampyridae insect family. Members of the scientific community may be tempted to cast doubt upon the possibility of this exchange due to the immobility of the prothorax and pterothorax, in addition to the elytra protruding outward while a firefly is engaged in mid-flight.
However, I can testify to the accuracy of this exchange. I can furthermore add that while each individual hug took place, each firefly participated in the chemical reaction commonly known as bioluminescence in which the enzymes within the firefly, in the presence of oxygen, magnesium ions and ATP, emitted a chemically produced light or “glow” because they were happy to be hugging me.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any further questions! Stream “Fireflies on Apple Music and Spotify!
Here is the tweet in all its glory.
— Owl City (@owlcity) June 21, 2017
“Wow, just WOW! I can’t believe he actually reply to this question! It’s the best thing ever!!!” a user called Marta said.
Of course, this meme is too perfect not to share.
— nat (@owlcityhoe) June 21, 2017
Click “Load More” to watch the music video for “Fireflies.”