Why do some beaches glow at night? Its really not the ghost.

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 Why do some beaches glow at night? Its really not the ghost.


Production of NetEase science and technology know column group (public address: tech_163)

When the night comes, the sea beside some beaches will shine like fairyland, just like the shining stars in the night sky falling all over the sea! Whats glowing? The answer is simple. Its algae. However, these algae do not exist in every beach.

(the glow of living things in the waves)

Bioluminescence is the result of chemical reactions in organisms. It is an important form of information communication between marine organisms and an important entry point for scientists to study the interaction between predators and prey.

Which marine creatures can shine?

The luminescent organisms are not only limited to algae, but also some kinds of bacteria, jellyfish, worms, crustaceans, fish and other marine organisms. In many cases, some marine animals also gain the ability to emit light when they devour bacteria or other luminescent organisms. One such example is the Hawaiian squid.

(Hawaiian SQUID)

Multicellular organisms are widely considered to have this ability, while marine organisms with bioluminescent ability are called dinoflagellates (algae).

Noctiluca is a kind of dinoflagellate, which can give off light quickly when it is disturbed. Bioluminescence is often used to resist predators. Dinoflagellates are found in coastal waters all over the world. However, there are many misunderstandings about the beautiful sceneries that they can shine. They are called sea ghost or sea ghost.

What is the color of bioluminescence?

Why does the color of the sea look blue, not red, pink or yellow? To find this answer, we need spectral knowledge. We start by understanding the depth of the water. The ocean is too deep for sunlight to reach the bottom of the sea, so there is little or no light reflected from the bottom of the sea.

The absorption degree of sea water to different color light in sunlight spectrum is different. When the sun shines on the sea surface, the red, yellow and green light in the spectrum are absorbed by water. Because of the scattering effect of water molecules, the blue light is reflected back, and the sea water we see is blue.

(visible spectrum)

Due to the interaction with sand and gravel, the water molecules along the coast are more dispersed, resulting in more light scattering. Some algae (such as Noctiluca) have the ability to absorb certain wavelengths of light, and then reflect blue light, which shows us a fairy tale scene full of stars.

The cause of marine bioluminescence

Bioluminescence is a chemical reaction that occurs in living organisms. Because the proportion of heat effect light is less than 20%, it is called cold light.

Such a chemical reaction requires luciferase and luciferase as well as oxygen. It has been known that some microorganisms produce fluorescein themselves. In the presence of oxygen, luciferin reacts with luciferase to form oxyluciferin and water, thus producing light and deactivating oxidized luciferin.

(luciferase reaction)

Defense or seduction?

Many organisms glow as a defense mechanism or to confuse predators. Vampire squid (also known as ghost Octopus) is such an example. The squid has no ink sac and spews a bioluminescent adhesive liquid, which surprises and confuses potential predators. Brittle starfish are another class of marine animals that use bioluminescence to distract predators. They confuse predators and escape by shining their limbs.

(Crispy starfish)

Some sea creatures use light as a means of luring prey. Trawling (also known as walleye) is one of the most famous predators that uses bioluminescence to attract prey. The fish has a large head, on which there is a kind of fleshy growth called filament, which lights like a light bulb. Because of curiosity, the small fish will be close to these luminous points, but they will soon be eaten by the carnivore. Before they become victims, little fish cant see the huge and terrible hanging fishing hidden behind the light.

(hanging fishing in the painters works)

Some marine creatures and land insects show us the fantastic sight of light, which shows again how fascinating nature is.

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Source: editor in charge: Wang Fengzhi, nt2541