Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism. It is one of nature’s most amazing phenomena. Various life forms ranging from the tiny bacteria to the huge sharks can make their own light.
While very few land dwellers are blessed with this ability, in the deep sea bioluminescence is very common. Deep ocean environments are almost always dark and this ability to produce light helps the creatures to survive.
These glow-in-the-dark creatures no doubt fascinate the observer. However, creatures use bioluminescence to attract their prey or mates and to distract or warn predators.
Let’s get to know some of these beautiful, glowing creatures.
One of the few creatures on land that can produce its own light. These bugs produce light in different colors like green, yellow or pale red.
It is estimated that only twelve percent of the total shark species glow. These luminous fish belong to two groups: the kitefin sharks and the lantern sharks.
Jellyfish are probably the most popular amongst luminous creatures. This animal can create the most beautiful underwater scenarios as it emits light from its otherwise transparent body.
There are many species of squid that glow in the dark like the Dana octopus squid and bobtail squid. But the most spectacular ones should be the firefly squid that give a dazzling display off the coast of Japan.
They tiny and transparent creatures can be found in marine habitats all over the world. They do not emit light on their own. The reason behind the light is the microscopic layers of crystal plates inside their cells which catch light and reflect it back.
Slugs, snails, clams, crustaceans, worms are just some of the other animals that are luminous.