Living Lights Majestic Glowworm Cave of Waitomo is Like a Starry Night

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Encyclopedia of Life, 2018.Arachnocampa luminosa.[Online]

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Cooper, A., 2018.Top 10 facts about Waitomo Caves.[Online]

2018.Waitomo Glowworm Cave.[Online]

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One form associated with the Bull Son of the Bull Cult was the Shiva Lingam, the sacred symbol that unites the phallus, the universal symbol of the male principle, with the ovum, the universal symbol of the female principle. The union of this polarity generates abundant life, which in many parts of the world was personified as the Green Man or Bull Son.

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By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings.

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Michelle, 2018.Waitomo Glowworm Caves.[Online]

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The Waitomo Glowworm Cave is part of the Waitomo Caves System, which includes the Ruakuri and Aranui Caves. The name Waitomo is said to be a combination of two Mori, wai, which means water, and tomo, which means a hole in the ground. The Waitomo Caves System was first extensively explored in 1887/8. The story goes that in that year, Tane Tinorau, the local Maori chieftain of the Kawhia Tribe, led an attack on a neighbouring tribe. After defeating them, a hunter was sent to look for food, when he stumbled across the Waitomo Caves System. According to another story, the local Mori people were already aware of the existence of this network of caves, though they did not explore it extensively.

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The Waitomo Glowworm Cave is a magnificent subterranean cave system in Waitomo, New Zealand, which as its name suggests, is renowned for its glowworm population. The glowworms, sometimes referred to as fireflies, belong to a species unique to New Zealand and are not found anywhere else in the world. As a result of the light emitted by these tiny creatures, the ceiling of the cave looks as though it were lit by countless stars. Thousands of visitors flock to the Waitomo Glowworm Cave every year to witness this beautiful spectacle with their own eyes.

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The glowworms are able to glow in the dark thanks to bioluminescence, which is made possible by the reaction between the chemicals released by the glowworms and the oxygen in the air. The glowworms bioluminescence serves a number of important purposes. First, the light emitted by the glowworms helps them obtain food, by attracting other insects to them. As these insects fly towards the light, they get stuck in the sticky lines produced by the glowworms, and are then consumed. In addition, the glow functions as a means for the glowworms to burn off its waste. Finally, the glow is also meant to deter other predators from eating them.

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At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

Top image: The Waitomo Glowworm Cave, New Zealand (flickr)

Tane Tinorau, accompanied by Fred Mace, an English surveyor, began to explore the caves. The chief and the surveyor entered the cave on a raft made of flax flower stalks, and had only a torch to light their way. As they were exploring the cave, they realized that there was light reflecting off the water. Looking up, the two explorers were stunned to find the ceiling of the cave dotted with sparkling blue lights, which they later identified as coming from glowworms. Tinorau and Mace were also able to explore the lower levels of the cave on foot during this time, where they discovered many beautiful natural limestone formations, such as stalactites and stalagmites. The two men would return many more time to further explore the caves system.

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The caves star attraction is its glowworms, which are of a species known asArachnocampa luminosa, unique to New Zealand. Hence, they are also known commonly as the New Zealand glowworm. As a matter of fact, this creature is not at all a type of worm, but the larvae stage in the lifecycle of a fungus gnat. While they look quite grotesque in the daylight, in the darkness, their brilliant shine is magnificent.

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The sticky lines produced by the glowworms to capture their prey (murdocke23/flickr)

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2018.Waitomo Glowworm Caves.[Online]

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The symbol of the Swastika and its 12,000-year-old history

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Fox-Skelly, J., 2016.New Zealands Waitomo Cave is Illuminated by a Strange Light.[Online]

The Maya civilization flourished in South America at approximately 2000BC. They developed a unique style of arts and architecture, astronomy, even a written language. Though their writingand even…

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Soon after the cave was discovered, it was mapped by government surveyors, and Tinorau opened it to the public. Tinorau and his wife, Huti, also served as guides to the tourists who visited the cave. In 1904, the Waitomo Glowworm Cave and its surrounding area were acquired by the government of New Zealand. It was only in 1990 that the cave was returned to the descendants of the original Mori owners, who now participate in its development and management, and receive a share of the revenue generated from the cave.

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I am a university student doing a BA degree in Archaeology. My interests range from conventional to radical interpretations of the archaeological/textual/pictorial data set. I believe that intellectual engagement by advocates from both ends of the spectrum would serve to…Read More

Whilst theArachnocampa luminosahas a life span of up to 11 months, 9 of them are spent as larvae. The adult gnat, which looks like a large mosquito, can only live for about 3 days, during which its sole purpose is to reproduce.

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The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

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