We were out last night in the almost cool watching the fireworks. No not the 4th of July kind, but the insect kind. It is so fascinating to watch those little beetles. So I decided to go on line and get some information on them. So the rest of the blog are bits and pieces of things I thought was interesting. The info goes from that was neat to know, to wow I didn't know that!
Fun and interesting facts:
Fireflies (also called lightning bugs), aren't flies or bugs - they're part of the beetle family, with soft bodies not hard like most beetles.
The Aztecs used the word "firefly" meant a spark of knowledge in a world of ignorance or darkness.
In Japanese culture, fireflies contain the souls of soldiers who have died in battle.
The Japanese used to fill lanterns with fireflies.
Ancient Mayas believed that fireflies carried the light of stars.
The Chinese believed fireflies came from burning grass.
A European legend said that someone would die if a firefly flew in the window.
Native Americans caught fireflies and and smeared them as decorations on their faces and chests.
The firefly is the state insect of Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
Fireflies are used for medical and scientific research.
It has been speculated the Baroque painter Caravaggio may have prepare his canvases with a powder of dried fireflies to create photosensitive surface on which he projected the image to be painted.
Medical research laboratories throughout the world use these two chemicals in cancer research, antibiotic testing, and research for heart disease, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy.
The biochemical industry uses the luciferase enzyme. This chemical is used by forensic investigators to swab for blood traces left on surfaces at crime scenes. Blood banks use the enzyme to test their stock to determine if the red blood cells are beginning to break down.
The space program uses lighting bug chemicals with special electronic detectors to look for earth-life forms in outer space. Looking for UFO's hmmm fireflies look outspace like to me.
The Military is Studying Fireflies and Glowing Planton
"Someday, the secrets of fireflies or glowing sea plankton could save an American soldier in battle, a Navy SEAL on a dive or a military pilot landing after a mission.
A possible military use of bioluminescence would be creating biodegradable landing zone markers that helicopters can spot even as wind from their rotors kicks up dirt."
Bioluminescence could be used to mark objects or locations that an enemy wouldn't find using heat-seeking technology.
The firefly's flame
Is something for which science has no name
I can think of nothing eerier
Than flying around with an unidentified glow on a person's posteerier.
- Ogden Nash
Have you checked yours lately?
Old story from the Philippines to explain why there are fireflies
There was once a young man who was as handsome as he was vain. He had the habit of derisively pointing out the physical defects of those around him.
One day, on his way to the forest, he saw a maiden clothed in silk. He was struck by her beauty and thought that, certainly, this was the loveliest woman in the world.
Entranced, he started to come near her, but she turned and fled. He combed the forest all day searching for her, but she was nowhere to be found.
Finally, tired and irritated, he burst out aloud, “You are not really beautiful! Your nose is flat and your ears are too wide.” He then settled down against a tree and slept.
He awoke with a start later to find the woman staring down at him. He also discovered that he had been transformed into an insect. The young woman, who was a fairy, told him that he would be cursed to remain thus until he finds a maiden who could exceed her in beauty.To this day, the enchanted young man continues his search, carrying a flickering light at night to help him in his quest