She Walked Into A Cave And Looked Up To See What Appeared To Be Stars — Amazing!
If you stumbled into Waitomo Cave in New Zealand, you might think the ceiling was peppered with thousands of tiny stars. In reality, though, they are actually glowworms!
The caves are part of a system that includes Ruakuri Cave and Aranui Cave, but only in Waitomo will you find “Glowworm Grotto.” The indigenous Māori people knew about the caves for decades before they were extensively explored by a local Maori chief and an English surveyor in 1887. Just two years later, the area became a prime tourist destination, and it wasn’t long before it was visited by thousands of people every year.
There are many stalactites, stalagmites, and fossils in the cave, but glowworms are the real attraction.
The larvae survive by spinning luminescent threads, which dangle from the ceiling into the cave’s abyss. Ants, crickets, and other insects are attracted to the light and become entangled in the threads, allowing the glowworms to feed much like a spider.
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