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Painted Ladies and the Well of Hell

23 June 2021

Painted Lady butterflies cross the Sahara during their migration from the Sahel to Europe – see https://phys.org/news/2021-06-butterflies-sahara-longest-known-insect-mi… … Painted Ladies are an iconic butterfly but some years their numbers are low and other years, they can be high. It all depends on the weather – as one might suspect. These butterflies reach Britain and virtually every corner of western Europe. Not sure about Russia and all points east but whatever, a really long migratory route – even crossing the North Sea [on top of the Mediterranean crossing]. It seems to depend on how wet the savannah of the Sahel might be during winter, and in North Africa, in the spring. They also require a good tail wind. It seems they can fly all day without stopping but need to get some nectar at night – even when they cross the Sahara. See www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.2102762118

Meanwhile, at https://phys.org/news/2021-06-danger-demons-yemen-mysterious-hel.html … the Jinn [demons] are an integral part of Islamic folklore, sparked even by the sound of wild animals in the night [encountered by travellers]. In this case the Jinn have a nesting ground, a mysterious hole in the ground that is near bottomless. Or, it goes down a very long way, too deep for locals to hear a stone dropping. The Well of Barhout in the Yemen, the Well of Hell, is a natural wonder. It is a giant hole in the desert not far from the border with Oman. It is 30 m wide and between 100 and 250 m deep. Its association with the Jinn is local lore, a way of teaching youngsters to avoid – as they might fall into the abyss.

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