25 APRIL 2018, 08:35 PM
Why can’t we fly in a straight line Daddy?
The Daddy says ‘Jeez, can’t you just fly without making it a problem’
‘Now let’s get home before we get eaten’
‘Do we have a home Daddy?’
That got me wondering.
But why don’t butterflies fly in a straight line?
It’s because they’re shit at flying.
Ok. My first answer is never my best answer.
It’s to evade predators. As their souls match the colors of their wings, the soul of any predator gains soul purity for any butterfly caught and eaten.
Ok. My second answer.. well I looked it up.
Pretty disappointing. Evolution. To avoid predators.
Butterflies and moths use their wings for many purposes: for flight, as mobile billboards to advertise how poisonous they are, and to create camouflage patterns. So you would expect them to be less adept fliers than insects that have optimised their wing design purely for aerodynamics. But the butterfly’s erratic flight is actually an evolutionary tactic that makes it harder for any would-be predators to predict the insect’s flightpath. The more poisonous butterflies don’t need to carry out these evasive manoeuvres, and as a result these species tend to fly much straighter.
Fluid dynamics simulations that were carried out at Kyoto University in Japan last year showed that butterflies achieve their trademark swoops and tumbles by generating a lot of extra turbulence with each wing beat. And high-speed photography studies undertaken at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, US, reveal that they also constantly adjust their centre of gravity by shifting the position of their body and wings.
Monarch butterflies are so good at this that they can effect a 90-degree turn in less than a single body-length.