A Light in the Sea

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Sound and Light in the Sea

Allow All Cookies. Journal of the Optical Society of America Vol. Not Accessible Your account may give you access. Abstract Light in the sea may be produced by the sun or stars, by chemical or biological processes, or by man-made sources. The Polarization of Light at Sea E.

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    Marine bioluminescence. Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback.

    Dispatches from the Deep: Light and Dark in the Sea

    See Article History. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Light , electromagnetic radiation that can be detected by the human eye.

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    7. When these two substances combine to form a light-emitting compound. This type of reaction is similar to what happens when you crack a glow stick to light it up. Deep-sea fish in particular use this clever trick to attract prey and locate food, whereas glowing creatures in shallower waters use bioluminescence as a defense mechanism.

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      Not much is known about bioluminescence in marine creatures as they lose their ability to glow when captured, making it difficult to study. Creatures do this by absorbing blue light and emitting it as red, orange or green — all colours which travel well underwater and are a stark contrast to the usual blue hue of the sea. What this means is that biofluorescence requires an external source of light, which means that only species that are exposed to sunlight can exhibit this trait — this is why deep sea creatures are bioluminescent rather than biofluorescent.

      According to marine biologists, this type of natural glow is used mainly for camouflage, communication and attracting mates.

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