This Is Not A Starscape

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Biologists hypothesize that the larvae of New Zealand glowworm Arachnocampa luminosa – which dangle, numerous and luminous, from the ceilings of caves – have evolved to resemble a star-studded night sky.

Above: Arachnocampa luminosa do their best impression of a starry night along the ceiling of New Zealand's Hollow Hill Cave | Photo used by kind permission of Phill Round. See more of his work here.

The ersatz starscape is thought to fool insects into thinking that the ceiling above them is no ceiling at all, but rather a vast and empty firmament. The insects move upward, buzzing freely through what they think is open sky, only to find themselves trapped in the sticky snare of a hungry glowworm.