New Zealand: the beautiful island of peace next to Australia; everyone’s favorite land of sheep and hobbits – and, apparently, magical caves. Just take a look at these enchanting lights. Bet you can’t guess what created them.
There is a system of caves in New Zealand famous for their natural illumination. This is what you see when you wander in deep enough: myriads of tiny lights covering the walls, reminiscent of a starry sky. The underground galaxy attracts thousands of tourists every year and is one of New Zealand’s main must-see places.
The reason for this natural phenomenon? Glowworms.
Yes, these nondescript mosquito-like insects are to thank for the magic that lights up the caves. New Zealand glowworms, Arachnocampa luminosa, are a species endemic to this country. The glowworms dwell in forest settings, on damp overhanging stream banks and very frequently in caves. Although adult female insects emit a soft glow as well, the “worms” in question are actually the larvae. The light produced is a result of a biochemical reaction which serves the purpose of luring smaller insects into their sticky snares.