General, Research, Technology

Why does the water in the seas and oceans glow at night?

Water off the coast of seas and oceans at nightsometimes it starts to glow. In some cases, this phenomenon is so beautiful that it seems that the coast has turned into a starry sky. People noticed this phenomenon for a very long time and scientists already know its cause. The fact is that a huge number of microbes live in the waters of the seas and oceans and some possess bioluminescence... This is the name of the ability of living organismsemit light. You can see the so-called glow of the sea in any corner of our planet - the main thing is that it is dark around and there are luminous organisms in the water. But in the future, our descendants may not see this beauty, because animals risk losing their amazing ability. Scientists have conducted research and found out why this can happen and how the loss of bioluminescence will affect the lives of luminous creatures.

The glow of the sea, which will now be discussed, looks like this

Glowing animals

Different types of living possess the ability to gloworganisms. The light appears in special luminous organs. For example, angler fish live at great depths, which attract prey with the help of a hanging "flashlight". The organs of luminescence in fish are called photophores... In insects, light is generated in special cells as a result of chemical processes. And bacteria glow due to the processes taking place in the cytoplasm - the semi-liquid content of cells.

Angler fish also known as angler

Как правило, на берегу морей и океанов свечение created by plankton. This is the name for tiny living organisms and plants that live in water and move exclusively by the force of the current. In their case, the glow is the result of physical and chemical processes. During movement, plankton, as it were, rubs against the water, which causes an electric discharge. It is he who forms the glow inside the cells of organisms. If you throw a stone into glowing water, friction will increase and a flash will occur. As mentioned above, this unusual phenomenon can be observed anywhere on our planet. In Russia, this beauty can be seen off the shores of the Okhotsk and Black seas.

Glow of the black sea

Researchers distinguish three types of glow of the seas andoceans. The first is called a sparkling glow and is due to organisms less than 5 millimeters. The second type is characterized by outbreaks - they arise as a result of the activity of large plankton like small crustaceans more than 1 centimeter. The third option is called uniform glow, which is due to bacteria living in the water. The uniform glow is the dimmest and can only be noticed in very dark environments.

See also: How do fish sleep and why can city lighting kill them?

The danger of global warming

But in the future, the creatures glowing today canlose your amazing ability. Researchers from the American state of Hawaii noticed that more and more carbon dioxide is being dissolved in the waters of the seas and oceans due to the observed global warming. This leads to acidification, which can severely harm aquatic life. It has been previously proven that such water leads to the destruction of shark scales and weakening of the shells of crabs. It was also found that due to global warming, some fish have enlarged genitals and they cannot reproduce.

Global warming will become a problem for all living organisms

As part of their scientific work, the researchers decidedfind out how oxidized water affects 49 bioluminescent creatures. Among them were bacteria, arthropods and other animal species. In the laboratory, they were all placed in water, the properties of which correspond to the forecasts for the year 2100. As a result, it turned out that under the new conditions, some species of squid significantly reduced the brightness of the glow. But some of the crustaceans, on the contrary, became a little brighter. This means that global warming will affect even these creatures and in the future, the "glowing seas" may disappear.

Even some plants have bioluminescence

If animals lose their ability to glow, theycan die out completely. The fact is that they need a glow not to entertain people, but to attract individuals of the opposite sex. If males cease to interest females and vice versa, they will cease to reproduce. In general, in the future, living creatures will have a hard time. But they are also threatened by another danger in the form of plastic waste. Bottles and packaging lying at the bottom of the seas and oceans do not decompose for 1000 years and literally poison animals. And humanity has not yet figured out how to solve this problem.

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If you would like to know more aboutbioluminescence, I recommend reading this material. In it, the author of Ilya Khel told in detail how and why living organisms acquired such an ability. Enjoy reading!