Cape Cod's Nature Place

The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History


Nature Screen: Butterfly Blueprints


 PBS NOVA documentary Butterfly Blueprints

Butterflies are perhaps the world's most beloved insects. But beneath their colorful charm, there's a wealth of hidden scientific secrets that show butterflies to be smarter and more resilient than we ever imagined.

In Butterfly Blueprints, NOVA captures astonishing fresh insights on their adaptability and behavior: this new research is inspiring, groundbreaking technology including more efficient solar power cells, odor detectors more sensitive than a dog's nose, and bulletproof vests made from genetically modified butterfly silk that's tougher than Kevlar. Butterfly-inspired advances even extend down to the nanoscale. Visible from miles away, the startling metallic blue of the Morpho butterfly is due to the diffraction of light from nanoscale structures in their wings, an effect that's now being applied to counterfeit-proof currency.

Featuring enthralling 4K macrophotography that takes you inside a chrysalis as it's being spun, Butterfly Blueprints takes viewers to tropical rainforests and windswept prairies to witness their extraordinary life cycle and migrations. NOVA's story also delves into the long relationship between butterflies and humans, concluding on what can be done to help ensure the survival of one of our favorite companions from the natural world.

Free with Museum Admission

Please wear a mask


  • 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM