The flower, Youtan Poluo, is said to bloom every 3,000 years and is directly linked to Buddhism. However, researchers have put in doubt that this is actually the case. The myth goes like this: Every 3,000 years, the blooming of the Youtan Poluo marks the arrival of a future king, or a reincarnation of the Buddha.
The flower is pretty tiny and easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. However, Mr Ding, a farmer in China, happened upon the Youtan Poluo growing on steel piping in his garden. Since Mr Ding’s discovery, sightings of the Youtan Poluo have been claimed all over the world from Taiwan and Korea to the US and Germany.
Now we are learning that the Youtan Poluo isn’t even a flower. It’s the eggs of lacewings. The female lacewing lays its eggs on thread-like stalks to keep the aggressive young from eating each other when they hatch. Mystery solved. Wait! There is a flower, though, that looks just like the lacewing eggs.
It is called the Udumbara flower and it isn’t very big, which makes it difficult to see. The flower is intertwined with Hinduism and Buddhism and is very important in the religions. To explain the rarity of seeing the Udumbara, the religions made up the myth about the 3,000 year blooming cycle and coming of a new Buddha story. Case closed.