The Importance Of Bioluminescence

1370 Words 6 Pages
Much of the ocean has still been unexplored, but the parts that we have explored have allowed us to see something nearly unbelievable for the first time: fish that naturally light up! In fact, many different types of creatures that live in the water light up: squid, eel, jellyfish, which can be seen to the right in figure one, and many various species of fish have the ability to do such. The ability, called bioluminescence, is defined as “ the emission of light from living organisms”, according to Merriam-Webster. More informally, it is considered the ability where a creature, which can live either on or off-land, can produce their own light. Some insects, such as glow worms, can make themselves light up at will. A more common example of …show more content…
Steven Haddock and James case of “The Bioluminescence Web Page” explained it, exclaiming that the most common way an animal is able to produce light is by using an enzyme called luciferase. That enzyme then helps oxygen bind to the molecule luciferin. That molecule, which is very high in energy, then releases its energy in the form of light. The other, less common way, is using a combination of an assortment of different bacteria in order to naturally produce visible light wave. However, not all animals that “glow”, or seemingly create light, are bioluminescent. In order for an animal to be considered to be “bioluminescent”, they need to be able to produce light on their own, naturally. Some corals take in ultraviolet waves, and then re-emit those waves, but when they re-emit those waves, they are being re-emitted are in the visible light spectrum. Many sea turtles who can appear to produce light do not, and use a technique very similar to the coral in order to make it appear that they do. Instead, the sea turtle has some molecules for autoflourescence in its shell. As a result, although they do emit light waves, they are not considered bioluminescent, because they did not produce the waves themselves, but rather changed the frequency of the waves that hit them, or, in the case of the sea turtles, they just reflected the light waves that hit their …show more content…
However, the light that they are going towards turns out to be the end of a lure on an angler fish, which then attempts to eat them. Thankfully, they get away unharmed. You can see a still from the scene in figure 3, shown above. Glow worms and fireflies also carry the same ability, as well. However, not every creature that glows or “lights up” produces the light themselves; some creatures, such as sea turtles, reflect the light back. Some species of coral translate ultraviolet waves into visible light waves, which can make it appear that they produce the light themselves, although they did not. In order to be bioluminescent, creatures must be able to produce the light naturally, either through the process using luciferins and releasing energy from molecules, or by lighting up using a combination of

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