Bioluminescence is light produced by a chemical reaction within an organism. Near the surface of a sea, it is most commonly seen in
bow wake, the glowing waves produced by a boat or ship moving through the water (the organisms are called dinoflagellates). Deep in
the oceans, many creatures use bioluminescence for various purposes. On the land, perhaps the best know case is in the abdomen of
How long do these bioluminescent flashes last? Dinoflagellates flash for about a tenth of a second. Some jellyfish make
light for quite a few seconds at a time. Some organisms produce light continuously.
Giant squid use bioluminescence to hunt
prey. In 2006, in the northwest Pacific, Japanese researchers were the first to capture activities of live Giant Squid. They found
that these creatures of the deep create short bursts of bright bioluminescent light.
page is supported by a promoter of child care services (family daycare) in California
There are about two thousand species of fireflies in the world. Each species has its own pattern: flashing, with a male-initiated
flash that is followed by a female’s flash. In one species, a large female flashes a signal that attracts male fireflies of another
species; when the male approaches, the tricky counterfeiter eats the unlucky male.
The Min Min light of Australia (or at least
some of the lights so labeled) have been credited to certain barn owls that occasionally glow.
Perhaps the most mysterious case
of bioluminescence is the five-to-six-second flash of the ropen of Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea. This secretive creature is believed
by some investigators to be a living Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur. This strange species seems to also live on the mainland of Papua
New Guinea (north of Australia).