There was once a time when people thought that insects were 'born of mud' by spontaneous generation. Raise a glass to Maria Sibylla Merian who proved these people wrong. She did this by documenting evidence on the life cycles of 186 insects, and was among the first professionally trained artists to illustrate her lifelong studies and observations. She observed many of these insects in 1699, when she sold 255 of her own paintings to fund a trip for her and her daughter to Suriname. Merian was one of the first naturalists to observe insects directly, and made careful observations and documentation of the metamorphosis of the butterfly, making her one of the most significant contributors to entomology.