Nature’s Most Dazzling Underwater Show…Tiny Cardinalfish Spitting Blue Lasers

By: | February 23rd, 2016

Scientists might be exploring space, but there are lots of mysterious things on Earth which are still unexplored… especially what lies beneath the ocean waves. The ocean is filled with thousands of wonders.

Looking at the small, translucent fish above, which appears to be shooting blue lasers out of its mouth, one would think that either it is some new species or another impact of humans on sea life.

However, the truth is just amazing!

The blinding light escaping the fish’s mouth is not a laser but a small creature called ostracod. An ostracod is a tiny creature of about 1mm in size. It has an amazing technique to defend itself…it emits light when it is disturbed.

When they are eaten by the translucent cardinalfish, these tiny ostracods immediately activate their light, which is a bioluminescent chemical. This makes them glow with a bright blue light. This shining light glows through the translucent skin of the cardinalfish, and this way the cardinalfish becomes an easy target for predators.

To avoid being eaten by a predator, the cardinalfish vomit out the tiny bioluminescent ostracods, creating the spectacular effect seen in the images.

Watch nature’s dazzling underwater show captured by a BBC film crew:

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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