Lighting Up The World

By Ashritha Raghavendra

March 30, 2022

What Is Bioluminescence?

Bioluminescence is light emitted by a living organism as a product of chemical reactions occurring inside the organism.

Image source: Peakpx

The Glow Recipe

Bioluminescence is a result of luciferin or photoprotein. Photoproteins combine with luciferins, oxygen and often a calcium ion to produce light.

Image source: TIME

Why Shine?

Bioluminescence helps animals hunt, defend against predators, locate mates and perform other significant activities.

Image source: Chemistry World

Some squids secrete a luminous cloud to confuse predators and escape.

Image source: National Geographic

A Squid’s Game

Deep-sea fishes flash to attract prey or show light organs to disguise their form to frighten predators, or simply light the way in the darkness of the ocean.

Image source: New York Times

Light It Up

Dinoflagellates are the most common source of bioluminescence in oceans. They emit light when disturbed with a flash that lasts less than a second.

Image source: TIME

Sparkling Shores

Brittle stars detach body parts to distract predators — making the predator follow the glowing arm, while the rest of the animal crawls away in the dark.

Image source: TED Ed

‘Arm’ed For Defence

Male fireflies flash to attract the females. A female firefly flashes a response which in turn makes the male seek her out for mating.

Image source: National Geographic

Sizzling For Survival