This Cave Has A Beautiful ‘Starry Night’ Ceiling Created By Insects

A rare, truly beautiful and otherworldly natural treasure resides beneath the surface of New Zealand’s North Island. In The Waitomo Glowworm Caves, there exists a sight straight out of a fantasy book. A colony of glowworms have created a spectacle that looks like the stars on the cave’s ceiling.

The glowworm species, Arachnocampa luminosa, is a kind of fungus gnat endemic to New Zealand. When they are in their larval stage, they are luminescent; giving them a beautiful and ghostly glow. When their larval stage ends, they become pupae and hang down from the roof of the cave on a single silken thread. This stage lasts for only a few weeks and results in varying glow intensities.
From their new homes and nests, they will lay out “snares” make of silk and covered in mucus. The glow of their bodies attracts prey such as moths and other insects which become ensnared and eaten by the glowworm larvae. The resulting display is a unique sight unlike any other, and Shaun Jeffers spent a year capturing it.

Ruakuri Glowworm Cave, Waitomo

Posted by Shaun Jeffers Photography on Sunday, May 22, 2016


A photo posted by Shaun Jeffers (@shaun_jeffers) on


Lighting the way… Glowworm style!

This is by far my favourite spot on the entire North Island – I can't really explain the experience but it really is something special.

Legendary Black Water Rafting Co.

Posted by Shaun Jeffers Photography on Tuesday, August 4, 2015



Beauty resides in New Zealand's darkest of places.

Glowworm Caves, Waitomo, New Zealand 100% Pure


Legendary Black Water Rafting Co.

Posted by Shaun Jeffers Photography on Wednesday, June 10, 2015


A photo posted by Shaun Jeffers (@shaun_jeffers) on


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