Did you know that one of the main sources of light on the planet is made up of living beings? Certain organisms are capable of emitting light naturally thanks to the bioluminescence process, one of the most surprising phenomena that we can see in nature. Animals, fungi, mushrooms and bacteria are capable of emitting bioluminous signals with different purposes, all thanks to this incredible powerhouse.
If you are curious and want to know what is bioluminescence and examples To understand it better, keep reading this interesting article by Ecologist Verde, in which we also tell you in which places you can observe bioluminescence phenomena.
Bioluminescence is the ability to produce light through the chemical reaction involving oxygen and a luciferin. This is a molecule capable of emitting energy in the form of photons when it comes into contact with oxygen molecules, thus originating flashes of light. In this process, a luciferase also intervenes, a molecule that makes it possible for this chemical reaction to occur.
Of all the groups of bioluminescent organisms, more than four fifths, that is most live in marine ecosystems. This fact is due to the fact that, given the dark and deep conditions of the seas and oceans, the emission of light is a good strategy for defense or, on the contrary, as a weapon to attract prey.
But why and for what do biolumniscent organisms resort to light? The phenomenon occurs quite simply, because with the slightest contact with any other organism or object, or even if the sea water is agitated, these organisms emit light.
On many occasions they do it as a camouflage strategy, being able to turn on, turn off or even regulate the light they emit. In other cases, they emit light in order to scare off a potential predator and thus have more time to escape. On the other hand, there are cases in which these animals make use of bioluminescence to adapt to the place where they are and attract their prey. This is the case of living organisms that inhabit abyssal plains, submerged regions in the depths of the ocean that, due to the lack of natural light, force the species that live there to make use of this phenomenon.
If you want to know more information about the Abyssal Plains: what they are and characteristics, take a look at this other article.
Among the bioluminescent life forms, we can distinguish those that inhabit terrestrial ecosystems and those that do so in marine ecosystems, the latter group being the most diverse and numerous, responsible for true light shows at sea. These are some examples of bioluminescent organisms:
When large numbers of organisms that produce light are gathered together with the movement of water, when moving rapidly, they light up like shooting stars. In different parts of the world we can attend such a magical spectacle of nature:
On the northeast coast of the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico), in a Caribbean environment, we can discover in Holbox that during the darkness of the night a large number of marine bioluminescent microorganisms accumulate on the coast emitting light.
Along the Puntarenitas beach, after sunset, you can enjoy the magical phenomenon produced by living organisms that emit blue light and leave a beautiful trail of sparkles.
We can also enjoy the amazing phenomenon of bioluminescence on the coasts of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, in Koh Rong (Cambodia), in Toyama Bay (Honshu, Japan), as well as in the lagoons that form inside the Waitomo Caves in New Zealand.
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