Feb 26, 2012
by: ostart

I've been researching deep sea life. Organisms close to the ocean floor live in a very dark area, sunlight cut off hundreds of meeters above where they are located. Some organisms can generate enough energy to create thier own flashes of light, this is called bioluminescence. This is the biggest lightsource that is ever seen at those depths.

The chemical reaction can happen at all levels of the ocean and with different organisms than fish. Algae also can produce this glow at surface level. Jellyfish are known to produce the longest light, which still only last around two seconds. An easier understood example or bioluminescence can be seen in the movie, Finding Nemo. When the two fish have swam to a much darker level and see the "scary" fish light up, that fish is using the chemical reaction of bioluminscence.


Other things have bioluminescence as well

Submitted by Elisabeth Barrows on Mon, 2012-02-27 03:14.

Marine organisms aren’t the only things that have bioluminescence; mushrooms do to. These crazy fungi glow twenty-four hours a day, but there are not really noticed till night. This mushrooms stand in tropical rainforests like nightlights plugged straight into the earth.

They are one of the best examples of what amazing feats evolution can achieve. However, it seems kind of obvious why deep-sea creatures evolved to glow in their perpetually dark home, but mushrooms are a different story. They glow in light or dark without discrimination, so you could wonder if they ever have away at sense light at all. But if they don’t sense light, it is a crazy fluke that they emit light. Just something to think about.

Some other things that glow

18praneviciusa's picture
Submitted by 18praneviciusa on Thu, 2013-11-07 12:35.

Marine organisms, and mushrooms are not the only organisms with bioluminescence. One species of parakeet in the Australia have males with a abilities to glow.

The male parakeets have yellow heads that glow in the night to attract females. In one study conducted by scientists where the two males where set in a cage with a female, where ones male's head had sun block to stop the glow and the other didn't, seven out of ten trials the female preferred the male with the glowing head.

Olivia, I think your topic

Submitted by ninaallen on Wed, 2012-03-07 14:31.

I think your topic on bioluminescence sounds way interesting. It's amazing how the ocean is so deep and dark and light can still be emitted! Like Liz said, there are many other organisms that also carry the chemicals to create the beautiful light, which makes our planet so unique and wonderful to live on. What color is the light emitted? Is it usually yellow like a normal light? Or can there be many different colors depending on the species? Your topic sounds great! Keep it up!


18praneviciusa's picture
Submitted by 18praneviciusa on Thu, 2013-11-21 12:25.

Dear Nina,

Bio-luminescence is actually not a very crazy thing in the deep and dark oceans. In fact it is perhaps the only way organisms could survive, each ecosystem requiring a source of light for producers to make glucose which other non-producers could eat.
The light emitted could vary greatly sometimes, red, blue,or yellow. You could check it out at a pet store that sells glow fish. Glow fish are neon colored fish that have been genetically modified with jellyfish to create interesting colors with bio-luminescence.