Bioluminescence

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    • The bioluminescence phenomenon was seen in the Visakhapatnam beaches.

    What is Bioluminescence?

    • It is the production and emission of light by a living organism.
    • The chemical reaction that results in bioluminescence requires two unique chemicals: luciferin and either luciferase or photoprotein. Luciferin is the compound that actually produces light. 
    • In a chemical reaction, luciferin is called the substrate. The bioluminescent color (yellow in fireflies, greenish in lanternfish) is a result of the arrangement of luciferin molecules.

    Reason for Bioluminescence of Beaches.

    • The glow of the waves is caused by tiny marine organisms called phytoplankton, which emit light on the ocean surface at night. It is best experienced during a moonless night.
    • Bioluminescence is widespread among deep sea animals in general. Many marine creatures like sponges, jellyfish, worms, species of fish, arthropods, echinoderms and unicellular alga exhibit bioluminescence to either evade predators, attract prey or during mating.
    • In Visakhapanam, this phenomenon is most likely the result of an algal bloom (significant accumulation) of the dinoflagellate species of noctiluca and ceratium.

    Source: TH