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ThinkBangalore.com

"Lets not blindly follow !" - A short caterpillar life story

Jean Henry Fabre was one of France's most greatest entomologists. With his experiments on insects , animals and birds he has explained their life cycle. Of his experiments , the observation he made on how caterpillar insects travel is a very interesting.

He made one observation that when one or few caterpillars die , hundreds of them die at the same time. So he tested whether those were affected by any epidemic disease.
He later came to know that the caterpillars were not having any disease. He made another important observation. If one cater pillar passed by another cater pillar that would follow the first , the third one follows the second and so on just forming a chain almost seeming to travel joining together. To simulate this , once Fabre took a medium width pot and put some sugar & food for the insects in the middle of the pot. He took some 10-15 cater pillars and placed them on the pot edge. He placed them such that one cater pillar followed the other and the full chain resembled a circle as the pot was in circle shape. Now he closely observed the cater pillar behavior, at what time it may notice the sugar inside and approach to each it breaking the chain. To his surprise he noticed the insects continued to follow the other. Using their half opened eyes , it used to view the back of the preceding ones and simply followed back to back.


To his great surprise he observed this continued for 7 days and the insects still continued to follow without breaking the chain and not even bothered about the food kept in the middle of the pot. Now one cater pillar fell down and died due to starvation. Later after 10 minutes all other caterpillars died the same way. Even when they had their favorite food kept pass by , they never noticed and died due to starvation after 7 days ! At-least if one insect had moved towards the food , all others would have followed it and reached the food . But not even one insect made this attempt and just kept following the other. It is not that it was not having the capacity to see around , but it did not have the interest to look around.  Not even one of those insects thought differently and made a brave attempt to look around . Had it done , it would have not only saved its life , but would saved the lives of other insects also. 

This story shows a very good moral - Some of us in their lives lead their life similar to the cater pillar. Without knowing the real fact , with half eyes open they follow the lines which other people follow. They keep following & following passing their ages. Our minds are like a parachute. We are protected only when it opens up. When the mind moves towards new directions , new thoughts - it leads to discoveries and helps the world. Let us not blindly follow as a caterpillar, Lets open up ..

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