What you see before your very eyes is a phenomenon which is extremely hard to witness in nature. These amazing photographs feature Julia Butterflies (Dryas iulia) drinking the tears of turtles and alligators.


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To your possible disappointment, these butterflies are not here to comfort the teary reptiles, but are here to feed on them. This phenomenon is called lachryphagy, which literally means “tear-feeding”, and, as cruel as it may sound, it is one of the ways that butterflies can get precious nutrition.

As reported by National Geographic, butterflies sip on tears to get sodium and other minerals which are needed for egg production and metabolism. While the mutual benefits are not yet proven, as long as the tear-providers are not too bothered, let the feast continue!

More info: National Geographic | h/t: laughingsquid, twistedsifter

Image credits: Ama la Vida

Image credits: Ama la Vida

Image credits: Jeff Cremer

Image credits: Jeff Cremer

Image credits: Unknown

Image credits: Michael Wang / Tora Adventure