The magical phenomena of Bioluminescent organisms that glow and dazzle in the dark
The earth is full of wonderful creatures and organisms such as glowing bacteria, that have long been considered magical and ethereal all because, in ancient times man lacked the inability to explain the phenomenon. Bioluminescent organisms that glow, exist in various parts of the earth and shine so brightly that they are liable to dazzle at night.
Whether it is the green glow, mistaken for fairies and sprites in the forest or the blue shining waves lapping the beaches in Japan, scientists still research this unusual ability of how tiny organisms emit such sparkling light.
1 Why Do Organisms Glow?
Bioluminescence of organisms such as glow worms works through a chemical process involving an enzyme, activating a chemical called luciferin. This has evolved over time with the ability to emit independent light to a very high degree and could well be a protective shield. Edith Widder of the Ocean Research and Conservation Association of Florida found out that the dimmest deep sea creature which glows is bioluminescent bacteria. The only possible way to view such dim light is when they all sine together collectively and it is then that the results are near magical.
2 Bioluminescent Creatures of the Deep Sea
Deep sea bacteria is the phenomenon which sailors throughout centuries have mistaken for sea sprites where there have been reports in ship logs stating the phenomenon of milky seas, seen by none other than Charles Darwin. In fact, satellite images have even picked up such milky seas shining as they are visible from space where one such patch was discovered by Steven Miller at the Naval Research Lab in Monterey, which shone so bright in the North west location of the Indian Ocean that the images were picked up from space.
3 The Brightest Glowing Organism in the Sea
The color of the bioluminescent glow created by glowing bacteria is an electrical blue. But in the ocean, the organism that produce the lightest are jellyfish which produces light from a green protein, used commonly for research by scientists.
According to Wider, the brightest specimen among organisms that glow was a siphonophore chain of shining mass, almost 20 feet long; that was observed in the Monterey submarine canyon just 131 feet deep in the ocean, where it shone blue, like some gigantic animal. A typical siphonophore is made of thousands of bioluminescent organisms where every individual is responsible for a certain function relating to movement, lighting and navigation.
4 Ostracods Are the Brightest Object on Water
Crustaceans, known as ostracods which are native to the Caribbean are also organisms that light up like blue tears. Their shining abilities are associated to mating, where a dazzling display can be seen on a moonless night. Ostracods are the brightest objects in coral reef systems in the Caribbean. While mating will reveal displays of brightly dotted lights, a perceived threat can make these creatures shine with such luminosity that it could blind you momentarily.
5 Species That Glow On Land
The most popular bioluminescent organisms that can be seen glowing on land are fireflies and glow worms. The strange fact about glow worms is that they aren’t really worms but Larvae. These glowing objects consist of larvae of various species of flies, insects, beetles and gnats and are found in Australia, New Zealand and North America, Europe and some parts of Asia. Fireflies aren’t really flies. Instead they are actually beetles belonging to a family called Lampyridae where their glow is also a protection device. Adults use their glow for mating as well.
6 The Brightest Glowing Organism
The glowing of organisms have baffled scientist till date, as to which burns with the most intensity. However, a review published in 1998 based on glowing organisms identified the ‘headlight elater’ as the brightest glowing insect. This is a beetle which has the ability to produce a high intensity of light on its own, unlike the siphonophores which burn in a collective group. However, scientists are of the view that the brightest glowing bioluminescent organism is yet to be discovered.