By Thomas Page

I was on a tour of Skyline Caverns

In Virginia with my family when

The tour-guide showed us a standing body

Of water. She pointed at it and said,

“This may look like a boring part of the

Cave, but there are many discoveries

Found here. For example, a species of

Snail only found in Germany was found

In this water. We don’t know why they were

Here. Another was a species found here

Only in the 1950s by the

Smithsonian. The three scientists took

A water sample of this lake to their

Lab in Washington, D.C. When they looked

Through their microscopes, they saw seven specks,

Which they called dirt. However, they were not.

They were a brand-new, never-before-seen

Species of beetle called, which I practiced,

 Pseudanophthalmus petrunkevitchi.

We just call them skyline beetles, others

 Valentine beetles. There were seven of

 Them in the water sample but they were

Dead. The scientists went back to the cave

 But no more skyline beetles were ever

  Found.” She waited for a moment and said,

“The beetles had never been exposed to

 Light so when they were taken out of the

 Cave, they died instantly. An entire

 Species discovered, named, and wiped out in

 A single day.” A paused beat. One, two, three.

 “Let’s move on to next part of our tour.”

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