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Bioluminescence

2 minutes

(female narrator) What is bioluminescence? Bioluminescence is a chemical process that allows living things to produce light. On land, fireflies are one of the most visible users of bioluminescence. In the ocean, bioluminescent creatures can be found from the surface all the way down to the deep-sea floor. The vast majority of ocean animals, from bacteria to sharks, include some members who make light.

(Describer) ...like a lanternshark.

Possibly as much as 90% of creatures in the deep ocean produce light. We don't know all the uses of bioluminescence, but some animals use it to warn or evade predators, to lure or detect prey, or to communicate with each other.

(Describer) Other creatures include vampire squid and anglerfish.

So what else is it used for, and how did this superpower evolve? Those are questions on which we still need to shed some light.

(Describer) Title: Narrator: Kyrsten Weber. Logos are shown for the Smithsonian and NOAA. Accessibility provided by the US Department of Education.

Accessibility provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

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Bioluminescence is a chemical process that allows living things to produce light. On land, fireflies are one of the most visible users of bioluminescence. In the ocean, bioluminescent creatures can be found from the surface all the way down to the deep sea floor. Scientists are still trying to figure out why and how animals adapted this feature.

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Runtime: 2 minutes

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