Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Fun Times with Science!
Do you know the difference between fluorescence and bioluminescence?
Fluorescence is when light is absorbed first, then emitted outward (looking like a glowing reflection). An example that you are probably familiar with is a white T-shirt under a black light.
Bioluminescence is when an organism can create their own light without the need to absorb it first. The chemical that allows them to do this is called luciferin. When the enzyme luciferASE (ASE usually indicates enzymatic properties) becomes activated, it breaks down luciferin which results in a natural "glow." An example of this phenomenon would be lightning bugs!
I visited a naturally occurring bioluminescent lake to check out this natural glow. The lake is full of bioluminescent microorganisms. When the water is disturbed, they become "agitated" and the end result is a beautiful blue/green glowing hue. You can hear my heavy breathing as I'm treading water and talking. I had to move vigorously enough to disturb the water to achieve the bright glow that you see (it's not as easy as it looks). I definitely got my cardio in on this one!
Bonus Fun Fact: when you get out of the water your skin sparkles in the dark for a few seconds. How cool is that

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