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This amazing 'dead leaf butterfly' is nature's greatest illusion yet

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The dead leaf butterfly looks like a dead leaf, hence the name, but it looks SO MUCH like a dead leaf it’s baffling

Evolution is a wacky, wacky thing. It’s vastly less wacky than any alternatives, of course – an all-knowing bearded dude creating everything is substantially wackier – but it’s still pretty dang wacky. Tiny changes happening over millions of years, being strengthened whenever they lead to a species’ increased survival, has led to some really gnarly stuff. Chameleons are pretty unlikely, and yet they’re real, so, like, whoa.

Is it too early to be smoking this?

Duuude.

Anyway, there’s a butterfly known as the dead leaf butterfly, because it’s evolved in a way that it can stay still and perfectly resemble a dead leaf. The Kallima inachus, also known as the orange oakleaf or the Indian oakleaf, is incredibly delicious to birds, and when chased will fly erratically and hide in a tree, flawlessly disguised as some past-it foliage.

Photo by Sumita Roy Dutta/Wikimedia

Impressively leaflike, yes? Well, take a look at this video, which no matter how many times you watch it, still seems like it’s just a video of a dead leaf. Like, you know it’s a butterfly, but is it? Is it actually? It is. But is it?

Nature, yo. It’s bonkstown.

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(Images: peellden / Sumita Roy Dutta / Wikimedia)

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