Today, there are more than 18,000 named butterfly species and approximately 140,000 different moth species on Earth. They all descend from a common ancestor that lived 225 million years ago. From then on, an ancestor erupted in a procession of color and form, filling forests, savannahs, fields and gardens with patterns and textures. Each butterfly species has developed a strategy to make the most of its greatest asset and defining characteristic: its scaly wings. Butterflies use their short, broad wings to gently flap over flowery meadows, unlike any other flying animal. Because of their size and wings, these unusual fliers flap slowly but inefficiently. So, what explains this unique body plan? Many different aerodynamic mechanisms have previously been proposed to play important roles in butterfly flight, but few data are available to assess their significance. Christoffer Johansson and Per Henningsson of Lund University in Sweden set out to understand how these insects generate flight power and elucidate the function of their iconic wings. Johansson and Henningsson focused on the role of the upper wing in butterfly flight. In particular, they looked for an important function at the end of the ascent trip, when the wings slam, a phenomenon found in other flying insects, that helps generate the lift that keeps them in the air. Johansson and Henningsson also identified cupped wing flapping as an alternative to jet propulsion that other flying or swimming animals and robots could use.
Butterflies can’t see their wings, but a butterfly always spreads its wings gracefully and travels around knowing its capabilities. Butterflies grace everything from classic children’s books to ancient Greek symbolism. Humans are always mesmerized by the extraordinary beauty of nature where the caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.
The butterfly is always used as a metaphor that relates to our personal change, a small storm before a beautiful transformation. The butterfly of change is within the beholder, be inspired and aspire to the people around you like a butterfly as you go on board the train called the journey of life. Butterflies are mostly seen together, and just like that leadership isn’t done lonely but instead can be done together when likewise, minds join hand-in-hand together to make a change within themselves, families, community, and the world.
Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”. The butterfly is often said as a metaphor for change as we start the process and interaction of changing conditions of our consciousness starting with one aspect and then onto the next, from knowing something on a superficial level, then going through a profound encounter that prompts an entirely different limit and discernment. Of course, butterflies and their extraordinary wings deserve to be considered not only elegant beauties but also as mechanical marvels.
Just like the butterfly, youths from around the world joined together to create a better change in their communities and the world. The butterfly wings magazine was created to let voices of powerful youth advocates be heard in hopes of encouraging everyone to understand the science of prevention and our community better.
In this 3rd edition of the UNODC Youth Initiative Magazine, Butterfly wings, matters around our communities are brought to light regarding children, parents, families, schools, women, the importance of understanding your views, mental health, and self-love. This magazine also reflects personal experiences from strong youth voices. The magazine circles around educating and empowering everyone from every background and encourages you to spread your wings like a butterfly.
We constantly feel calm and smile when we look at a butterfly, so be the butterfly in someone’s life. Flutter like a butterfly, Fly like a butterfly and let your wings sparkle in the sky of change.