Do you know what happens inside the Chrysalis of Butterflies?
Well it's rather fascinating.
Once in the chrysalis, the caterpillar melts into a sort of primordial soup.
People think of a chrysalis as something a caterpillar makes, like a cocoon, but this isn't really true. The body that the caterpillar reveals when it sheds its skin for the last time is the chrysalis. Along with the ability to occasionally twitch in response to threats, this shell is what protects the caterpillar while it transforms.
The transformation itself is truly amazing. Its a bit like recycling a plastic bottle. It can be melted down into an entirely different shape. This is sort of what happens inside the chrysalis. Much of the body breaks itself down into what is called imaginal cells, which are undifferentiated -- like stem cells, they can become any type of cell. The imaginal cells put themselves back together into a new shape.
This process of complete transformation is known as holometabolism. The amount of time required to transform completely varies from one species to another anywhere from 2 weeks to a month.