today i found out that when monarch butterflies migrate south for the winter, all the ones that go across the middle of lake superior suddenly stop going south and go west for five miles and then continue south. which really freaked scientists out cos like What is in the Middle of Lake Superior what do Butterflies know that We Dont Is This The End Times etc. anyway turns out about a hundred million years ago there was a mountain there and the butterflies still think they gotta fly around it. classic butterflies
combine this with the fact that caterpillars literally turn into bug soup in their crystallis, meaning there is no central nervous system to carry over any information, but they seem to retain memories from caterpillar life regardless…
and it brings up a lot of questions about what kind of information can even be stored in genes, like… does genetic memory really exist? what does this mean for humankind? could a race of people develop an instinctual memory of the land like this? are there people whose bones tell the stories of ancient mountains? what about my people? is the diaspora something that can be felt among every one of us? are we all the living cumulation of hundreds of thousands of ghosts?
i am simultaneously fascinated and frightened by this. classic butterflies indeed