Biofluorescence is the ability of an animal to absorb certain kinds of light and emit different wavelengths in its place. A handful of animals are known for exhibit biofluorescence, but the unexpected discovery of a fluorescent eel while studying coral reefs in the ocean drove David Gruber, Ph.D. to explore the matter further.
Upon gathering an exploration team, Gruber ventured around the world and documented more than 100 fluorescent sea creatures, including blennies, eels, sharks, and stingrays, among others. Gruber also takes particular interest in the fluorescent eyes of the seahorse, which he believes the creatures use to identify others when blending in with their surroundings to avoid predation.
Gruber also talks about the flower hat jelly, which sports green fluorescent tentacle tips that may lure potential prey and the swell shark which has a green fluorescent mask that the fish might use to communicate with one another.
Biofluorescence in the ocean inspires all sorts of scientific advances above the surface, and for that reason, researchers continue to investigate the properties of biofluorescence and its uses in nature.