What would you do if you only had a day to live or even less – just a few hours? For the Tisza mayfly, this is the life: after spending three years embedded in the mud on the bottom of river Tisza as larvae, they become stunning adults, mate, and die in a few hours.
But those few hours dazzle everyone who witnesses their gorgeous flight – the Hungarian name translates as Tisza-flower, and the sight explains it all: it looks like flying flowers above the water.
This mayfly, Scientifically referred to as Palingenia longitude, is also a living example of why humans should pay attention to our environment. Despite the particular name, the Tisza flowers can be seen in many places in Central and Western Europe: the species became extinct in 1922 in River Loire and 1952 in River Rhine, and while there are some species in other smaller rivers in Central Europe, the majestic sight of “flowering” can only be seen on the Sun-lit riverbanks of Tisza.
You don’t have to miss the blooming of the Tisza – if you can’t visit the area to see it in person, check out this video of Hungary’s Hortobágy National Park and enjoy the sight.