Palos verdes blue

This project is inspired and dedicated to a species of butterflies who emerged from the ashes. However, their numbers are still declining and they are still endangered. So this project is based in an alternate world where they feed on waste electricity instead of nectar, and are hence overpopulated.
Timeframe : 2 weeks

project overview

Palos Verdes Blue is a subspecies of the Silvery Blue butterfly. It is thought to be the rarest butterfly in the world, which was thought to be extinct in the 1980's but was rediscovered in the 1990's. A big reason for their declining numbers is the increasing human development (as usual). So the two host plants - deer weed and locoweed are not very common anymore. What is common now in Los Angeles County, where they used to be found, is waste electricity.

So this project is set in an alternate world where the butterflies feed on waste electricity instead of their current host plants. Because of the high amount of waste electricity produced in the area, they are now overpopulated.


This project was made as a quick prototype in collaboration with a children's museum in India, to raise awareness about certain endangered species. The working prototype used wires, fabric, motors, elastic bands, LED's, aluminium foil, an Arduino and motion sensors.

It is envisioned in a space where the butterflies are hanging all around a dark room and start flapping their wings when the kids walk past them.