These surprising photos show masses of butterflies interacting with various animals. But why do they do it, especially with such risk to themselves? One answer is that butterflies typically swarm during migration, and these pictures capture such a moment. The other answer is that butterflies can’t get all the minerals they need from flowers, making them attracted to things that are salty.
For the more mythologically minded, butterflies represent the soul or the mind in many cultures. The Chinese, Greeks, and Romans believed this to be true. In Japan, however, while the symbolism is the same, one butterfly indicated an upcoming visit from your loved one, but a large number was viewed as a bad omen.