All over the world, nature makes awesome stuff happen. Think of cherry blossom season in Kyoto, or the moment you spot a pod of humpback whales off the coast of Argentina. Experiences like these are especially moving because they’re fleeting and we’re there at just the right time to see them. This is how it feels to walk among millions of monarch butterflies in the natural reserves west of Mexico City. Normally delicate and solitary, their collective presence around you and in the trees above you here is both startling and unbelievably beautiful.

Every year, upwards of hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies make the migratory journey from as far north as Canada’s east coast. They arrive in places like the El Rosario Butterfly Reserve, just west of Mexico City, in late October. We don’t know exactly how these tiny things make such intense and long journeys to the same locations year after year, especially considering no butterfly ever makes the journey twice. It’s a form of genetic memory that is still somewhat of a mystery to us. Thanks to tagging practices, we do know that butterflies can travel hundreds of miles in a matter of days. (Small paper tags roughly the diameter of a pencil are adhered to the undersides of their wings to track their flight patterns.)

 

Nature Rocks: Monarch Butterfly Migration in Mexico

 

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By | 2015-08-25T13:49:34+00:00 August 25th, 2015|Outdoor August 15|0 Comments

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