One day, Michael Farmer came across something he couldn’t quite believe while strolling through the grounds of his property in Costa Rica.
A small, shiny metal object that appeared to be on the leaves of a guava tree was glistening in the sunlight like a piece of polished chrome.
But then he got a shock when it started to crawl, and that’s when he realized it was, in fact, a living thing.
As it turned out, Farmer had just discovered one of the world’s rarest beetles: Chrysina Limbata, a species recognized by its silvery, reflective shells.
When Farmer picked up the beetle, she stopped crawling and pretended to be dead, which meant he could get a better look.
“I was amazed by how beautiful it was,” Farmer told The Dodo. “[I’ve] never seen anything like it.”
Farmer took these pictures of the bug, which appeared almost too gorgeous to be real.
“[It] was like a mirror. Utterly flawless reflection in the beetle,” he said. “Truly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.”
Later, Farmer discovered that these bugs are actually pretty rare. The species has been severely impacted by habitat loss and being caught and sold to collectors.
“I don’t believe in selling living creatures like that,” Farmer said. “I put it back on the tree, and it rapidly flew away.”
But he won’t be quick to forget the beetle. He claims never to have seen a beetle like it before and hopes it won’t be the last time.
“I’m not much of an insect person,” he said. “[But] I’m still amazed by it. Can’t wait to see another.”