Drawn Like Moths to a Flame

“Thus hath the candle singed the moth.
O these deliberate fools! When they do choose,
They have the wisdom by their wit to lose.”

~ Portia, from Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice”

Just as moths are drawn to the flames of candles, so are people drawn to the promises hinted at by neon signs (I think they are mostly flourescent or LED lights nowadays). Yet these bright exciting lights that beckon us merely leave us tired, burned out and poorer.

As for why moths are drawn to artificial light; no one knows for sure. One theory is that they navigate by the moon, which is the only light source that they have evolved to expect. The light of the moon should never be below them, so they flutter around the light source trying to obtain the angle that they were expecting.


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