Did you know that every autumn in eastern North America, tens of millions of monarch butterflies set out on a truly amazing voyage?
Their destination? The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in the mountains of Michoacán, northwest of Mexico City.
How do these insects, weighing barely half a gram, manage to find their way to a place they’ve never been before? The mystery remains, but scientists believe that the sun helps guide them, or that the ability is simply encoded in their genetic makeup.
The monarchs fly up to 100 kilometres per day for several weeks, allowing these tireless travellers to complete a journey of over 4,000 kilometres.
Once they’ve arrived at their mountain destination, they spend winter clustered together, conserving their energy so they can leave again when spring arrives.
Mexicans consider the monarch butterfly to be of major importance. In indigenous legend, these creatures carry the souls of the dead to the afterlife.