bioluminescence

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with bioluminescence



Photography Science

Billions of Fireflies Light Up an Indian Wildlife Reserve in Rare Footage Captured by Sriram Murali

May 23, 2022

Kate Mothes

In many parts of the world, a warm summer evening sets the stage for a familiar sight: the lightning bug. Through a phenomenon called bioluminescence, these winged beetles generate chemical reactions in a part of their abdomen known as the lantern to produce flickers of light. Of more than 2,000 species found throughout the world, only a handful coordinate their flashes into patterns and are known as synchronous fireflies. Filmmaker Sriram Murali captured a rare gathering of billions of these insects at the Anamalai Tiger Reserve in western Tamil Nadu, India.

Through a combination of moving image and time-lapse photography, Murali recorded countless specimens amidst the trees as they produce glowing pulses, which relay across the forest in expansive, wave-like signals. The color, brightness, and length of the light emitted is specific to each species, and as a part of the insects’ mating display, it helps males and females to recognize one another. Darkness is a necessary ingredient in the success of this ritual.

For the past ten years, Murali has been working to raise awareness of light pollution through a series of documentaries. Focusing on the reserve and its nighttime fauna, he hopes to highlight the significant role that darkness plays in the natural world. He has been collaborating with scientists and forest officials at the wildlife reserve as part of a project spearheaded by Deputy Director M.G. Ganesan to study the ecology of the park and identify the different species of firefly present there.

You can find more of Murali’s films on Vimeo and on his website and also follow his updates on Instagram. (via Petapixel)

 

 

 

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Photography

Jewels in the Night Sea: Luminous Plankton Captured in the Dark Waters off the South Coast of Japan

August 17, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Larval fish of Dendrochirus, all images copyright Ryo Minemizu

Larval fish of Dendrochirus, all images copyright Ryo Minemizu

Japanese marine life photographer Ryo Minemizu focuses his lens on some of the tiniest and most abundant life forms in our oceans. His series Phenomenons explores the diverse beauty and extravagant colors of plankton, and is shot amongst the dark waters of the Osezaki sea near Mount Fuji and other coasts around Japan, the Philippines and Maldives. To capture the small creatures Minemizu sets his shutter speed to just a fraction of a second, while ensuring that his own movements don’t disturb the surrounding organisms.

“Plankton symbolize how precious life is by their tiny existence,” he explains. “I wanted other people to see them as they are in the sea, so it was my motivation from the beginning to shoot plankton underwater, which is quite a challenge. Most plankton are small, and their movements are hard to predict.”

His solo exhibition Jewels in the Night Sea begins a three-city tour at Canon Gallery in Ginza, Tokyo from August 20-29, 2018. It will then move to Cannon galleries in Nagoya and Osaka from September 6-12 and September 20-26, 2018. You can see more of Minemizu’s underwater photography on Instagram and Twitter. Select prints from his Phenomenons series are available in his online shop. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

Unknown a larval Gymnapogon

Unknown a larval Gymnapogon

Batesian mimicry, larval fish of Soleichthys

Batesian mimicry, larval fish of Soleichthys

Larval Tripod fish

Larval Tripod fish

The Paralepididae

The Paralepididae

Hyperiidea on Nausithoe jellyfish

Hyperiidea on Nausithoe jellyfish

Larval Barred soapfish

Larval Barred soapfish

The paddle of zoea larva of Lysmata

The paddle of zoea larva of Lysmata

Megalopa larva of Eplumula phalangium

Megalopa larva of Eplumula phalangium

Larva of Pleurobranchaea

Larva of Pleurobranchaea

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

Blue Rivers of Bioluminescent Shrimp Trickle Down Oceanside Rocks in Okayama, Japan

August 18, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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Photographed off the coast of Okayama, Japan, The Weeping Stones is a photo series by the creative duo Trevor Williams and Jonathan Galione of Tdub Photo that captures the eerie blue light emitted by a native species of bioluminescent shrimp. More commonly referred to as sea fireflies, these rare creatures live in the sand in shallow sea water, floating somewhere between the extremes of high and low tide. At just 3 mm in length the shrimp are extremely small light sources, but when grouped together they take on abstract patterns that light up the water around them.

In order to group such a large number of sea fireflies, or Vargula Hilgendorfiitogether Williams and Galione had to collect the creatures by luring them with raw bacon into jars and repositioning their tiny bodies on the rocks. Photographing and placing the bioluminescent shrimp next to the shore ensured that the photographers did not harm them, and allowed them to quickly return the animals back to the water below.

This fall, Tdub Photo hopes to shoot more bioluminescent images by focusing on glowing mushrooms. You can see an earlier project the duo created with bioluminescent shrimp on their website, and see more of their travels over on their Instagram and Facebook. (via PetaPixel)

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Photography

Halo Effect: Swimmers in Thailand Surrounded by Clouds of Bioluminescent Phytoplankton

June 22, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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When photographer Will Strathmann was recently in Krabi, Thailand, he decided to head out during a full moon to witness the effects of bioluminescent phytoplankton in the nearby Andaman Sea. His curiosity was rewarded by a small group of swimmers who were causing the microscopic organisms to light up by agitating the water around them. The result was this amazing shot. You can see more of Strathmann’s photography on Instagram. (via NatGeo)

 

 



Science

Scientists Discover the First Biofluorescent Reptile, a ‘Glowing’ Hawksbill Sea Turtle

September 28, 2015

Christopher Jobson

No, this isn’t a clip from the latest Miyazaki anime, this is the first sighting of a real fluorescent turtle.

Marine biologist David Gruber of City University of New York, was recently in the Solomon Islands to film a variety of biofluorescent fish and coral, when suddenly a completely unexpected sight burst into the frame: a glowing yellow and red sea turtle. The creature is a critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle, and until this sighting last July, the phenomenon had never been documented in turtles, let alone any other reptile.

Biofluorescence is the ability for an organism to reflect blue light and re-emit it as a different color, not to be confused with bioluminescence, where organisms produce their own light.

Many undersea creatures like coral, sharks, and some shrimp have shown the ability to show single green, red, or orange colors under the right lighting conditions, but according to National Geographic, no organisms have shown the ability to emit two distinct colors like the hawksbill. As seen in the video, the coloring appears not only in mottled patterns on the turtle’s shell, but even extends within the cracks of its head and feet. Gruber mentions this could be a mixture of both glowing red glowing algae attached to the turtle, but the yellow fluorescence is undoubtedly part of the animal.

Watch the video above to see the moment of discovery and learn more on Nat Geo.

 

 



Photography Science

Long-Exposure Photographs of a New Zealand Cave Illuminated by Glowing Worms

June 28, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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The twinkling lights dotting the ceiling of this dazzling cave system are the work of arachnocampa luminosa, a bioluminescent gnat larva (also called a glowworm) found throughout the island nation of New Zealand. It is believed that the light, emitted mostly from females, is how the insects find mates. These long-exposure photos by local photographer Joseph Michael capture small communities of worms amongst 30 million-year-old limestone formations on North Island. You can see more shots from the project titled Luminosity, here.

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A Colossal

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Artist Cat Enamel Pins