JAN 12, 2017 03:27 PM PST

Glow Power - The Chemistry of Bioluminescence

WRITTEN BY: Karen Sorenson
3 3 357

Much like the creatures form the land of Pandora in James Cameron’s Avatar, glowing (or bioluminescent) animals have a certain mystique to them. Perhaps it’s due to the rarity us humans get to see them on land that we want to catch them in mason jars and keep them forever.

The truth of the matter is that glowing creatures are quite common, at least in the deep sea. In fact, an astounding 80-90 percent of the animals in the open ocean have some element of bioluminescence. These fascinating creatures have taken hundreds of millions of years to evolved and shine some light on the purpose of these chemical reactions.

While captivating to look at, this chemical phenomenon is not just for vanity. Many of these creatures use their glowing mutant powers to breed, feed and even evade predators. They have even proven useful to humans. European coal miners would use dried fish skins as a light source down in the mines. These creatures have even worked their way into folklore around the world. In Victorian England fireflies were harbingers of death. In Bengal, swallowing one would cure blindness. And in the South, a firefly in the house signals good luck.

 

"Copy + Paste" the code below to embed this infographic into your website.

About the Author
  • I am an award-winning public relations professional with seven years of experience, multiple individual awards and numerous top-tier articles and product awards to my credit. I have managed a variety of press outreach projects, reported quarterly media activity and mentored junior or newer employees. I secured critical media placements, including print and online in Cosmopolitan Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Business Journal; while achieving and maintaining close working relationships with top tech reporters. I successfully balance managing media campaigns, contributing to an award-winning company newsletter, press tour travel and serving as the official spokesperson for conferences and user group presentations. As part of the award-winning editorial team of iolo insider, the monthly internal company newsletter, I won PRSA-LA PRism Awards in 2010 and 2011, as well as Holmes Report's SABRE Awards and PR News' Platinum PR Awards in 2011. Fluent in English and Lithuanian, I hold a BA in Communications with an emphasis in PR from Brigham Young University. I currently work at LabRoots managing digital content and PR activities.
You May Also Like
AUG 27, 2015
Infographics
AUG 27, 2015
Test Your FLUency
What is the Flu? Flu is a viral respiratory infection passed from person to person. Seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses
JAN 01, 2016
Health & Medicine
JAN 01, 2016
Let Hunger Be Your Guide
Potato chips, bacon, milk chocolate - all are examples convenient foods engineered for maximum tastiness. Widespread advertisements incessantly bombard con
NOV 21, 2016
Infographics
NOV 21, 2016
Science on Tap - Understanding Alcohol's Relationship With the Brain
While mixology is an evolving science, brew masters have been around for centuries – millennia even! As early as 3,400 BC, Sumerians were the first p
DEC 27, 2017
Infographics
DEC 27, 2017
Are Digital Screens Affecting Your Health?
Digital screens are quickly becoming integrated into all aspects of our daily lives. The average American spends 11 hours in front of screens every day whi
DEC 19, 2017
Infographics
DEC 19, 2017
For the Love of Stem Cells
Did you know that stem cells were first discovered in 1868 by German biologist Ernst Haeckel? Or that the first successful human bone marrow transplant was
JUN 27, 2018
Infographics
JUN 27, 2018
The Role of Biomarkers In Modern Medicine
A biomarker (short for biological marker) is a measurable indicator of some biological state or condition. The biomarker can be measured objectively and consistently. Biomarkers play signific
Loading Comments...