Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Beautiful Systems

Fireflies //

Also known as the lightening bug, most do not realize that these insects are actually beetles... What?! They are a nocturnal and a part of the Lampyridae family. Their other "siblings" are classified as "glowworms". They are as big as a paperclip and there are 2,000 kinds of them. Lucky for us Minnesotans, fireflies love humid climates that have a lot of moisture. There is a light organ under their abdomen, which is how they produce the heat-less glow. It works like this: they breath in oxygen, the oxygen mixes with a substance called luciferin, and boom! There is light. So cool.

Jack-O-Lantern Mushroom (Omphalotus Olearius)  //

These mushrooms actually glow, plus they fit in with the season. In the daylight, they are orange. Their bioluminescence, the glow effect, in dark conditions. The entire mushroom is not glowing, though, only the gills do. Similar to fireflies, this is due to luciferin. The only downside about them is that they are in fact poisonous to humans... Bummer.

Dinoflagellates  //

This is by far the prettiest marine plankton I have ever seen! They are part of the phenomenon called "red tide" when they are in large groups. They sometimes appear in freshwater, not just salt. Another cool fact is that they are also sometimes involved in a symbiotic relationship with coral. You can also surf on it too, which creates some amazing shots!

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