This cave in New Zealand hides an amazing secret you won’t find anywhere else…

Deep in the limestone caves of New Zealand live colonies of glow worms. They are said to have lived there for 30 million years, spending that time emitting a blue-green light strong enough to illuminate the caves in their entirety.

These wonderful, yet strange creatures are called arachnocampa luminosa. Auckland photographer Joseph Michael documented their awe-inspiring world, spending countless hours in the caves’ ice-cold water.

We here at LikeAble thought we’d give you a chance to dive right into this beautiful fairy tale, to remind you of just how wondrous the world around us can be.

Glow worms are found only in New Zealand and eastern Australia. The Australian species have smaller lights and tend to stay in smaller groups.

The first part of the species’ name, Arachnocampa, means «spider worm,» and refers to the web of silk threads the worms use to snatch their prey.

The roofs of caves make great homes for their larvae, because of their damp, sheltered surface. They often reside side-by-side in groups of several hundred.

The worms’ glowing light helps them attract their food — other insects.

Many other animals are also bioluminescent, meaning they make light via a natural process. Most bioluminescent creatures live in the ocean, however, where their bioluminescent light is often the sole source of light they have in the darkness.

If light makes its way into the cave, the glow worms are rendered invisible to the human eye.

The insects are active at night. Many observers have described the experience of visiting the glow worms at this time as similar to being out under the stars on a clear night.

The glow worms’ beauty is fleeting: They live just long enough to mate and lay eggs.

Source: businessinsider
Photo credit: joemichael