Inspired by the exhibition Creatures of Light, let's explore the marvellous phenomenon of bioluminescence. See the exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Nature until 9 November 2014. http://nature.ca/light
It's not a mutant fish nor a piscine wizard. The source of the light is actually the defense of the clever, microscopic animal who just wants to get through the day without being gobbled up. Is that too much to ask?
Ptooey! These little crustaceons light up after they've been swallowed, thus compelling their transparent predator (cardinalfish) to vomit them up again so that even bigger predators don't find an easy double meal by the glow. See video footage and read the explanation.
Some more cool uses for bioluminescence! Find out how fireflies are used by NASA.
Did you know?—You and fireflies and all living things have a certain molecule in your cells, and NASA is using it to find both microbial contamination and life in outer space. The key is the ATP molecule's role in firefly bioluminescence, and the trick is making it glow outside of a firefly. In this video, microbiologist Siouxsie Wells of the Bioluminescent Superbugs Group explains the ingenious and useful technique. How long before we're all cleaning our homes this way?
The submersible Alvin carries scientists to the deep ocean, where they encounter amazing creatures and views of deep ocean life. Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
First there's the cool tech: a deep-sea research sub launched off a ship. Next, you-are-there stories from its passionate scientists. And finally, amazing and unforgettable footage of undersea creatures—including beautiful bioluminescents. Fifteen minutes of absorbing watching.
Some sea creatures emit a neon glow known as bioluminescence. This remarkable camera lets it be seen on film like never before.
Although bioluminescence is visible to the eye, it's difficult to capture on camera because of technological limitations. Documentary filmmaker Martin Dohrn has specialized in filming bioluminescence for 25 years, and helped develop a special camera capable of capturing the phenomenon in the dark ocean depths. Video (3 min.).
David Gallo shows jaw-dropping footage of amazing sea creatures, including a color-shifting cuttlefish, a perfectly camouflaged octopus, and a Times Square's worth of neon light displays from fish who live in the blackest depths of the ocean.
This video shows different examples of bioluminescent, deep-sea animals than the ones we more often see photos and footage of—and they are astonishing.
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