In Photos: New Zealand's Glow Worm-Covered Limestone Caves
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In Photos: New Zealand's Glow Worm-Covered Limestone Caves

Joseph Michael / www.joemichael.co.nz

Forget camera flashes; New Zealand-based photographer Joseph Michael uses a less-likely light source for his timelapsed "Luminosity" series. While shooting New Zealand's 30-million-year-old limestone caves on the North Island in New Zealand, Michael depended on the bioluminescence from the Arachnocampa luminosa—more commonly known as the New Zealand Glow Worm—to set the scene for his light-studded shots. The glow comes from the female worms in a characteristic that has been attributed to attracting a mate.

The worms are the size of an average mosquito and are closely monitored by the region's Scientific Advisory Group. Regular tours are guided through the illuminated caves, but the number of visitors per day depends on the air quality, carbon dioxide levels, humidity, and rock temperature, in an effort to keep visitors safe and the worms' environment stable. Here are just a few of Michael's photographs:

Joseph Michael / www.joemichael.co.nz
Joseph Michael / www.joemichael.co.nz
JOSEPH MICHAEL Joseph Michael / www.joemichael.co.nz
Joseph Michael / www.joemichael.co.nz
Joseph Michael / www.joemichael.co.nz

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.

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