Thursday, June 3, 2010

Creature Feature: The Rose Chafer and Jung.

Some of you are probably wondering exactly what makes this beetle, the green rose chafer (Cetonia aurata), so special. It looks almost like a bigger Japanese beetle, only far less damaging to one's garden. As the video above demonstrates, they start life as part of nature's cleanup crew, and are native to Europe. Honestly, I did not even know that the green rose chafer existed until recently. It's a funny story.

In 2009, I went on a (crappy) trip to Kansas City. In Lawrence, the place where my cousin was going to college, there was a neat little shop that sold a bunch of nature-related things. They had dinosaur skeleton replicas, bug snacks, whole taxodermies of rattlesnakes, and a bunch of neat little gadgets and jewelery pieces with bugs inside. That's where I got my 'higurashi' necklace from. (Note: This was probably a misnomer on my part. Turns out that the 'higurashi' is a very specific type of Japanese cicada.)

Recently, I tried to rediscover the computer mice that I had found in that shop. On one of the first sites I came across, not only did they have the scorpion mouse I had seen, but had computer mice with lucite-preserved rose chafers in them. They were pretty green beetles, but, otherwise, seemed unimpressive.

Then I found out that Carl Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist, had had an interesting experience with one of these beetles:

"A young woman I was treating had, at a critical moment, a dream in which she was given a golden scarab. While she was telling me this dream, I sat with my back to the closed window. Suddenly I heard a noise behind me, like a gentle tapping. I turned round and saw a flying insect knocking against the window-pane from the outside. I opened the window and caught the creature in the air as it flew in. It was the nearest analogy to a golden scarab one finds in our latitudes, a scarabaeid beetle, the common rose-chafer (Cetonia aurata), which contrary to its usual habits had evidently felt the urge to get into a dark room at this particular moment. I must admit that nothing like it ever happened to me before or since."

Woah. That is creepy, cool, and utterly bizarre, all at the same time. A bug similar and related to the Egyptian scarab defied its natural habits in a 'speak of the devil' sort of way; I'd be more confident in my work as a spiritual psychologist if that happened to me, too!

Mind, the beetle in the computer mouse probably is not the exact same type of rose chafer; usually, Chinese bug preservers stick to oriental wildlife. An auction for what must be the most awesome clock ever cites a different insect entirely. One awesome thing still led to another.

There is no such thing as coincidence. The only thing is inevitability.

Why couldn't Jung have been this hot?
Thanks for the update, CLAMP!

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