I visited the 10,000 square foot facility at Butterfly World in Scottsdale. There were thousands of butterflies and some moths too from around the world flying around the simulated rainforest. There are about 28,000 species of butterflies in the world. In North America, there are about 800 different kinds of butterflies.
While researching tattoos, I found that butterflies are quite popular in many cultures. I read that in Japanese heritage, one butterfly stands for young womanhood while two symbolize marital bliss. To the Aztecs, the butterfly stood for the souls of dead warriors who had fallen on the battlefield and the souls of women who had died in childbirth. The butterfly’s unique transformation suggests a story: from sluggish crawling caterpillar to the stillness of a cocoon before emerging into the sunlit world as a Technicolor masterpiece winging its careless spirals of freedom. Any metamorphosis is abounding with meaning: rebirth, change, evolution. This symbol can give people strength. Butterflies are also used to encapsulate love such as in the Chinese legend of the Butterfly Lovers. My personal favorite is the Owl Butterfly, its two large eyespots and snake-like face gazing from the top of its wings fooling a predator-filled world.