Waitomo Glowworm Caves: A Fairytale World Under the Earth

Did you catch fireflies as a child? Whenever you see elves in fairy tales living in dreamlike and beautiful forests or caves, have you ever imagined that one day you can be in a fantasy elf home and have close contact with elves?

In the Waitomo Caves area of ​​Waikato, New Zealand, there is a huge set of cave systems. Hidden deep or shallowly below the ground, it consists of limestone formations filled with exquisite stalactites and stalagmites. Although it is hidden deep below the ground, it is shiny and magical inside. Why is this? Because there are thousands of “little lantern elves” in the cave, that is, blue light fireflies. The firefly here is different from the firefly we usually see. It is a two-winged insect in the larval stage. Each firefly can spit out many translucent silk threads of different lengths, and the longest thread can reach 20 cm. These shimmering silk threads hang in the cave, like rain curtains and crystal curtains, crystal clear. In the cave, countless fireflies glow together, shining like stars, forming the Waitomo Firefly Cave like an elf cave, which is deep and dreamy.

According to legend, the Waitomo Glowworm Cave was formed about 15,000 years ago, but 30 million years ago, it was still buried deep under the sea. After a long period of geological migration and changes, it was brought to sea level and eroded by long rainwater. , forming rock cracks, coupled with the reproduction of various creatures, finally formed the current scale.

The Waitomo Glowworm Caves were first discovered in 1887. At that time, a local Maori patriarch and a British surveyor accidentally discovered this “elven cave” when they explored the bottom of the cave along the creek. Now, you take a small boat, slowly move forward along the stream, pass through the tortuous caves, and you can slowly enter this dark “elven world”, with little stream in your ears and expectations in your heart. As your eyes gradually adjust to the darkness, you will find sparkling lights flickering on the water in the distance, like stars falling into a stream. Countless fireflies live among the stalactites, weaving dreamy silk webs. At this time, as long as you raise your head slightly, you can see the crystal curtain with faint blue-green light covering the entire cave ceiling, flickering, making people feel like they have entered a fairy tale.

The Waitomo Glowworm Caves perfectly fit the dreamy fairy cave in many people’s minds, so it is also known as the “Ninth Wonder of the World” in nature. However, these “little lantern elves” have very high requirements for the living environment. They cannot survive in the presence of light and sound. Therefore, tourists who want to enjoy the glowworm cave must protect these elves and avoid taking pictures and talking!

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