It's like fireworks under the sea!

If you love the ocean and love may be surprised about what goes on out there once you leave the shoreline.

Many marine animals, including 1,500 types of fish, sparkle, glitter, and glow thanks to bioluminescence!

-- There are fish that dangle a light in front of their mouth to attract food!

-- There are squid that shoot out glowing liquids to confuse predators!

-- Jellyfish, including the local comb jelly, emit bright flashes to scare off predators.

-- Many worms and tiny crustaceans glow to attract mates.

-- Microscopic plankton add sparkle to the ocean as they move through waves at night.

-- Some sharks get into the act too: Whales and squid are attracted to the glowing belly of the cookie-cutter shark, which grabs a bite out of them once they are close enough!

So how does this work? Well, think of the firefly. Same theory.

Bioluminescence occurs in sea creatures through a chemical reaction. To light up, their bodies must contain luciferin, a molecule that, when mixed with oxygen, produces light.

Glowing sea creatures can even control when they light up, including the COLOR and intensity.

For more info on just what goes on in that ocean of ours, check out NJ Sea Grant!

Have you ever been to one of those vacation destinations where you get to swim with the glowing sea creatures???


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