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17 April 2023: Bioluminescence

Context:

The beaches in Visakhapatnam witnessed the bioluminescence phenomenon.

Bioluminescence: 

  • It involves a living entity producing and emitting light.
  • Luciferin and either luciferase or photoprotein are the two distinct molecules required for the chemical reaction that causes bioluminescence. The substance that actually produces light is called luciferin.
  • The term “substrate” refers to luciferin in a chemical reaction. The arrangement of luciferin molecules produces the bioluminescent hue, which is yellow in fireflies and greenish in lanternfish.

Beach bioluminescence: the cause

  • The small marine organisms known as phytoplankton, which emit light on the ocean’s surface at night, are what give the waves their glow. The best time to experience it is on a moonless night.
  • In general, deep-water organisms exhibit bioluminescence. Many marine organisms, including sponges, jellyfish, worms, fish, arthropods, echinoderms, and unicellular algae, glow under the influence of bioluminescence to ward off predators, attract prey, or for mating purposes.
  • Most likely, an algal bloom (large concentration) of the dinoflagellate species noctiluca and ceratium caused this phenomenon in Visakhapatnam.