Winston Churchill once said, “We are all worms. But I believe that I am a glowworm.” And although it seems like a strange sentiment, after checking out this time-lapse video of glowworms in action, the legendary British Prime Minister’s words make a lot more sense.
The above video of Arachnocampa luminosa in all their beautiful bioluminescence was filmed by Jordan Poste, with support from his wife; the duo are a seriously adventurous couple who use their weekends to explore all the natural beauty New Zealand has to offer, and post most of their explorations on their YouTube Channel, Stoked for Saturday.
In order to capture the glorious “glowworm galaxy,” Poste and his wife worked “in caves for multiple days in complete darkness with just the sounds of the cave to keep [them] company.” And even though he ran into numerous challenges—including damaged equipment, sleep deprivation, and hallucinations—Poste still managed to assemble some extraordinarily rare footage of the glowworms in action.
For those unfamiliar with the Arachnocampa luminosa, it is actually a species “of fungus gnat endemic to New Zealand,” which spends the vast majority of its life (6-12 months) as a glowing larva plugged into the ceiling of a dark cave. During this period, the glowworm larvae spin and hang threads of silk to be used as snares, and then attract unsuspecting prey into their traps with a twinkling tableau that looks deceptively like a starry night sky.
Once the larvae become pupa, their adulthood only lasts a few days and is strictly for mating; as soon as the new generation of eggs are lain, the parent generation dies off. And while at first this seems like a cruel fate—to spend one’s whole life growing, only to be swiftly eliminated once maturity is achieved—the glowworms’ existence is certainly not wasted. They do, after all, manage to put on one helluva show.
What do you think about Poste’s time-lapse video of these cave-dwelling glowworms? Let us know in the comments section below!