What must it be like to be Owl City, a dude best known for a song containing several nonsensical lyrics about fireflies hugging him? More importantly, what’s it like to be a person still perplexed enough by the scientific impossibility of such a phenomenon to tweet at Owl City eight years later demanding an explanation? Behold the greatest/worst fan-artist exchange in human history: the moment someone asked Owl City’s Adam Young to settle once and for all what it means to “get 1,000 hugs from 10,000 lightning bugs,” as sung on his 2009 hit “Fireflies.” Perhaps a bigger artist would’ve scoffed at a request for such a personal annotation, but let it never be said that Owl City doesn’t know how to have fun. Young answered — oh, did he ever answer — with a mathematical and entomological breakdown that will both force a tear out of Bill Nye and zap your brain.
.@pryce_d since you asked…. pic.twitter.com/z4LFlisYfQ— Owl City (@owlcity) June 21, 2017
Throwback to 2009 when Owl City released their pop hit “Fireflies,” which lit up iPods with synthesized piano and some baffling lyrics. Though the song was released eight years ago, the anthem has been revived through Internet users‘ favorite medium: memes.
In many of the memes and gifs that have surfaced online, tense situations are juxtaposed with the upbeat rhythm of Owl City’s chorus.
What confuses Internet users the most is the sheer possibility of receiving “a thousand hugs from ten thousand lightning bugs,” which leads the second verse of the song. One Twitter user went straight to the source — Owl City — and asked about the logistics of being hugged by ten thousand fireflies.
Owl City provided the Internet with a detailed response, as Buzzfeed reported: “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.”
So, in fact, we would not believe our eyes.