In 1835, Charles Darwin, on his historic voyage, visited Chile, where he met a German naturalist called Renous. Renous had recently been jailed for heresy (of all things). He was raising caterpillars to study butterflies, but the good people of San Fernando did not know that caterpillars turn into butterflies. Surely, turning one animal into another was witchcraft!
We might scoff at their ignorance, but more than 180 years later, we still know precious little about butterflies. Each year, Monarch butterflies make a voyage far more impressive than Darwin’s, flying over 7500 km (4700 miles) from the eastern U.S. to Mexico and back – that’s like a human being circling the globe 2325 times! Continue reading