SEP 30, 2015 9:49 PM PDT

Biofluorescent Sea Turtles? Where?!

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

You may have heard of bioluminescent animals, which are able to produce their own light in dark conditions by using a chemical reaction, but there is another type of animal capable of reflecting bright fluorescent colors when certain lights bounce off of them, and these are known as biofluorescent animals.
 
The process occurs when the animal’s special skin absorbs the light from a source around them, and then they are able to project a different color. Intense light rays, like those of white light and ultraviolet light, can set off these bright colors.
 
There are various types of biofluorescent life forms out there, although many of them are forms of marine life, such as coral and fish. But for the first time, a hawksbill sea turtle has been found to have biofluorescent qualities, and has been captured on video by marine biologist David Gruber near the Solomon Islands.
 


Gruber could hardly think of any other way to describe the creature apart from a large, glowing UFO, because he had never seen anything like it. The large glowing shell was just drifting through the water as the turtle swam around in the area.
 
In the video, which you can view below, the Gruber shines ultraviolet lights on the sea turtle, as well as the surrounding life under the water, revealing the awesome reflective qualities of biofluorescent animals. The colors bouncing back at the camera are green, red, and orange, which work together in such a visual way to produce a truly eerie effect.


 
The reason that this is such a huge discovery is because biofluorescence has never been documented before in reptiles. It’s not really understood why the sea turtle had these qualities to begin with, or if there are more like it in the area.
 
It could be a mutation, being that the occurrence is as rare as it is, but it still raises the question of how the sea turtle obtained this ability.

Source: National Geographic

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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