I first learned about this phenomenon in 2005, then wrote about it in 2015. Despite the fact that I had very few followers at the time, it quickly became–and remains–the most widely read post I’ve ever written. Fifteen years have passed, but I still marvel at what this phenomenon reveals. Not only about caterpillars. But about us.
Did you know that caterpillars are not “transformed” into butterflies? In metamorphosis (the name of the process), a caterpillar is liquefied. Only after its actual death can entirely new creature, a butterfly, emerge!
But most people’s image of the process is more like Eric Carle’s classic children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, in which the little caterpillar “makes a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep, only to wake up a few weeks later wonderfully transformed into a butterfly!” (amazon.com)
The Very Dead Caterpillar would probably have sold fewer copies. But it would have been more accurate.
So what does happen? To read the remainder of the post, click here.