Bioluminescent fauna and flora

Updated 2220 GMT (0620 HKT) July 31, 2016
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In this July 21, 2016 photo, fireflies light up a section of a forest in Mexico. At times, hundreds of the bioluminescent beetles will synchronize their lights, blinking on and off in perfect rhythm. Click through the gallery to see other bioluminescent organisms. Rebecca Blackwell/AP
Each year, Watasenia scintillans, or firefly squid, rise up from the deep waters off the coast of Japan to mate. Dante Fenolio/Photo Researchers RM/Getty Images
Tube anemone display multiple different colors, making them a popular feature of home aquariums. Ethan Daniels/WaterFrame RM/Getty Images
Noctiluca scintillans or sea sparkle is a large, bioluminescent and nontoxic phytoplankton that causes the sea to glow. It is relatively common in Hong Kong, but it is uncommon to capture its iridescent glow on camera. It only appears when the water is disturbed or the ecosystem is out of balance. Visuals Unlimited, Inc./Wim van /Getty Images
Sea creatures aren't the only thing that glow. Some fungi do, too. Omphalotus nidiformis or ghost fungus is primarily found in Australia. It uses a bioluminescence technique certain organisms have developed to create energy, in the form of light, through a chemical reaction. Auscape / UIG/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
The pelagic octopus or open-ocean octopus is mainly found in Hawaii. Documentary filmmaker Martin Dohrn developed a special camera to catch bioluminescence because he says it was "...designed to function at the very limits of animal vision, which is far beyond the limits of most cameras." Jeff Rotman/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
Does the fluorescent lizardfish glow to communicate with other fish? There is a light show in the ocean that you may not be able to see, but many fish can. The discovery of what is hidden from human eyes -- biofluorescence in 180 species of fish -- brings up this and many questions for researchers. Borut Furlan/WaterFrame RM/Getty Images
Comb jellyfish, which evolved more than 500 million years ago, can emit and reflect light, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute. Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild/Getty Images
Instead of only producing blue light like most other bioluminescent marine animals, the dragon fish emits a red light as well. Although red light doesn't travel as far, it lets the dragon fish see its prey undetected. Dante Fenolio/Photo Researchers RM/Getty Images