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This documentary explores the phenomena of bioluminescence and biofluorescence, describing the various species that possess these features. The film also addresses the use of these characteristics both in the wildlife and in the lab and discusses the possible benefits for humans.
There are very few species with a bioluminescent feature living out of the water. The dark waters of the ocean, however, conceal hundred thousands of species of fish and other organisms that possess this characteristic. The depths of the ocean are not sufficiently explored by the scientists yet, which makes the bioluminescent creatures even more puzzling. There are many various uses for bioluminescence in the animal kingdom. For instance, some animals use the light to navigate and to hunt, some use bright flashes of light to blind and confuse the predators when under attack, some use light to hide from predators by mingling with the sunlight coming through sea water, and some use light to stand out and to attract the opposite sex for mating.
Biofluorescence, on the other hand, is only found in species living in shallow water, as this feature requires special conditions to present. For instance, the absorption of light can only happen when the water filters the sunlight down to single blue wavelengths. One of the applications of fluorescent genes could be to light up the neurons in the brain to understand the workings of the neuron network. Other uses involve detecting the pollution, creating bioluminescent trees that could be utilized as a source of light, and even making fluorescent ice cream.
Overall, bioluminescence and biofluorescence are two very intriguing evolutionary features. It is important for the scientists to continue the studies to find a way to use them in the research or treatment of the human body.
“National Geographic | Creatures of Light – Documentary 2016 HD 1080p.” YouTube, Web.