freedom-in-the-mountains

the waitomo caves of new zealand’s northern island, formed two million years ago from the surrounding limestone bedrock, are home to an endemic species of bioluminescent fungus gnat (arachnocampa luminosa, or glow worm fly) who in their larval stage produce silk threads from which to hang and, using a blue light emitted from a modified excretory organ in their tails, lure in prey who then become ensnared in sticky droplets of mucus.

photos from spellbound waitomo tours, forevergone, blue polaris, and martin rietze. (more cave photos) (more bioluminescence photos)