Where Can You Discover a Cave Filled with Glowworms?

Have you ever walked through a cavern? If you have, you are aware that they are some of the darkest places you can find. Caves are completely cut off from the Sun, Moon, and stars. Instead, cave explorers bring flashlights to assist them in their subterranean escapades.

Imagine this: You are on a cave expedition with your family. You venture deeper into the cave. It becomes progressively darker. Just as you are about to turn on your flashlight, another family member gasps and points upwards. You look up and notice small specks of light scattered across the cave ceiling. What is happening? Are those stars?

No, those are not stars! More likely, you have stumbled upon a cave filled with glowworms!

Glowworm caves are exactly what they sound like—caves that are teeming with glowworms. Glowworms often reside on cave ceilings. They emit a blue glow and create long, sticky webs to capture their prey. Inside a glowworm cave, these webs cause the cave ceiling to appear as if it is covered in starry lights.

Would you be interested in visiting a glowworm cave? Most of them can be found in New Zealand and Australia. One of the most popular glowworm caves is the Waitomo Glowworm Cave on New Zealand’s North Island. Visitors can observe the glowworms inside a limestone cave that is 30 million years old.

Another fantastic place to spot glowworms is the Natural Bridge at Springbrook National Park in Australia. The park is abundant with stunning waterfalls, but at night, glowworms steal the show. The high humidity in the area makes it an ideal habitat for these insects.

If you are unable to travel to New Zealand or Australia, you can also visit Dismals Canyon in Alabama, USA. There, you will encounter the glowworm species Ofelia fultoni, which can only be found in the Appalachian Mountains and Cumberland Plateau.

In New Zealand, many of the glowworm caves were initially discovered by the Maori, the indigenous people of the country. The Maori referred to the insects as “titiwai,” which means “lights reflected in water.” Later, as scientists began studying glowworms, they gave them the name “Arachnocampa luminosa,” which translates to “bright spider-worm.”

Experts have identified numerous species of glowworms. In fact, they have discovered that glowworms are not worms at all! Instead, they are the larval stage of various insect species. As they mature, they encase themselves in cocoons, similar to butterflies. Eventually, they emerge as fully grown insects.

Visitors to glowworm caves describe the experience as similar to gazing at a starry sky. Would you like to visit one someday? What other fascinating creatures might you encounter during your adventure?

Give It a Try

Keep exploring! Seek the assistance of an adult friend or family member to engage in the following activities:

Explore Glowworm Caves and Share Your Adventure

Take a look at these captivating images of glowworm caves! Can you imagine yourself exploring one of these caves someday? Explain to a friend or family member what makes you want to visit or why you might feel hesitant.

Have you ever embarked on a thrilling cave hike? If not, would you be interested in trying it out? Compose an exciting story about the adventures you could encounter while hiking in a cave. What magnificent creatures will you encounter? What challenges will you face? How will you overcome them?

Expand your knowledge about glowworms! Unearth fascinating facts about these unique creatures. Write a paragraph to inform a friend or family member about the wonders of glow-worms.

Interesting Sources to Discover More

  • https://www.waitomo.com/discover (accessed 01 Aug. 2019)
  • https://theculturetrip.com/pacific/new-zealand/articles/the-10-most-extraordinary-glow-worm-caves-in-the-world/ (accessed 01 Aug. 2019)
  • https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/2417-glow-worms (accessed 01 Aug. 2019)
  • https://ihoneida.com/2017/07/03/discovering-hazard-caves-glow-worms/ (accessed 01 Aug. 2019)

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