Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Pixabay

Pilots from all three countries will take turns flying the motorized glider from Canada through the United States to Mexico.

Like all butterflies, the Monarch begins as a caterpillar, inching along on tiny legs, feasting on leaves. Then comes the slow transformation inside the chrysalis: from worm-like creature into a thing of wings -- and beauty. Monarch butterflies, instantly recognizable for their gold and black markings, are found in many places around the world. But only those east of the Rocky Mountains in North America makes the longest annual insect migration. From their summer habitats in the north, every autumn 300 million butterflies fly south more than 5,000 kilometers -- to a few small forests in Mexico.

And that's the path that this unusual ultra-light aircraft will follow this year's piloted by a crew of documentary filmmakers, including lead pilot Francisco Gutierrez. At a stop in Washington, D.C., Mr. Gutierrez said he'd designed the plane's Monarch-like wing markings himself. The purpose of the flight, he said, is to raise public consciousness about the environment. 'Basically, the idea is to make people aware that we have to take care of our world,' he said. 'And I found in this incredible insect, the Monarch butterfly, a very magic and amazing phenomenon.'


Follow NewsGram on Twitter to stay updated about the World news.

Pilots from all three countries will take turns flying the motorized glider from Canada through the United States to Mexico. The butterflies will determine the flight schedule. 'If the Monarchs fly, it's because we have good weather,' Mr. Gutierrez said. ' If they don't fly, it's not good, so I'm just trying to follow their rules. So, if I fly with them, I will be ready.' Reporter: So they take a break if the weather is bad' 'Yes, when they have a thunderstorm, they stay somewhere, I don't know where. And when the weather is good again, they fly.'

Monarch butterfly The Monarchs depend on the trees to get through the winter,' Professor Brower says.Pixabay

'To me, the Monarch is a symbol of the interrelatedness of all animals and plants,' says Sweet Briar College professor Lincoln Brower. Now a fellow at the World Wildlife Fund, Professor Brower has studied Monarch butterflies for 52 years. He says that large-scale agriculture's herbicides and gene-engineered crops are killing off everything else, including the plants that butterflies eat -- with disastrous consequences for biological diversity. In Mexico, meanwhile, illegal logging is also destroying the high-altitude forests that the Monarch butterflies shelter in over the winter. 'The Monarchs depend on the trees to get through the winter,' Professor Brower says. 'If they lose that over-wintering habitat in Mexico, at some point the straw will break the camel's back and we'll lose the whole migratory phenomenon.'

While the Monarch species itself isn't endangered, Dr. Brower says that the butterflies' migration is both a beautiful natural resource and a well of scientific knowledge. ' For example, right now there's a current controversy as to whether the Monarch is capable of detecting magnetic lines of force,' he says. ' The fact that these little guys can fly from Toronto to a pinpoint on the map in Mexico, nearly 2,000 miles, how do they do it? What clues are they using? How is their brain processing this information? I mean, the brain of a Monarch is about the size of a small steel pinhead, and yet within it is the capacity of navigation comparable to the highest humans have, or even higher, for that matter.?

The pilots of Papalotzin, as the motorized glider is called -' the word means little butterfly' in the ancient Aztec language -' must depend on cruder navigational tools as they track the clouds of butterflies south. The flight began in August in Canada and will end in November in Central Mexico. (VOA/JC)


Popular

Photo by Pedro Durigan on Unsplash

The world's largest producer of ketchup announced the Packet Roller, a ketchup bottle-shaped gadget that allows users to squeeze the most out of a condiment packet, CNN reported.

Heinz has just rolled out a new product that the condiment company says is the "biggest innovation in sauce since the packet itself." Earlier this month, the world's largest producer of ketchup announced the Packet Roller, a ketchup bottle-shaped gadget that allows users to squeeze the most out of a condiment packet, CNN reported.

"Do not click 'purchase' unless you are prepared to change everything about the way you sauce," the Heinz Packet Roller website says. The roller goes for $5.70. The roller is pocket-sized, can be added to a keychain, and features a packet corner cutter.


Keep Reading Show less
Wikimedia Commons

Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer, is recovering from a right-knee surgery he underwent last month.

Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer, who is recovering from a right-knee surgery he underwent last month, said on Sunday that it was a difficult process to decide whether to undergo a third right-knee surgery after having two last year. But following Wimbledon, where he was "really unhappy" with his performance in reaching the quarterfinals, Federer opted to go through with it.

Federer, who made a late decision to attend this year's Laver Cup in Boston -- a tournament held between teams from Europe and the rest of the world -- said on the sidelines of the event that the recovery and rehabilitation are "going to take me a few more months and then we'll see how things are at some point next year". "The reception I've received, everybody is so upbeat that I'm here. They wish me all the best and they don't even see the crutches. They just want me to be good again and enjoy the weekend," Federer said in an interview for the event with former world No. 1 Jim Courier.

"I've seen some incredible tennis, some great matches and it's been wonderful. I'm really happy I made the trip," the winner of 20 majors was quoted as saying by atptour.com. On why he opted for a third surgery, the tennis ace said, "I was just nowhere near where I wanted to be to play at the top, top level. But I tried my best and at the end... too much is too much. Now I've just got to take it step by step," Federer said.

Roger Federer RG2012 volley Federer received thunderous ovations inside Boston's TD Garden, where he has often been sitting in the front row watching the action or behind the scenes visiting with the players. | Wikimedia Commons

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Eiliv-Sonas Aceron on Unsplash

By Hitesh Rathi

Cleopatra, was regarded as a great beauty, to preserve her skin, she took her daily bath in donkey milk. Besides, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed donkey milk for various diseases including fever, wounds, etc. To add to these benefits, donkey milk has four times the amount of Vitamin C than cow's milk has. So, it's no secret that donkey milk is a powerhouse of nutrients for both the skin and body.

Used for Anti-Ageing and Healing
The milk contains essential fatty acids that work as powerful anti-ageing and healing properties. These fatty acids blur the wrinkles on the skin and help to regenerate damaged skin. Plus, donkey milk also contains anti-bacterial properties which are effective in healing skin irritation and redness.

Look younger as you get old The milk contains essential fatty acids that work as powerful anti-ageing and healing properties.| Flickr

Keep reading... Show less