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No night lights necessary

Fluorescent mouse

Deep-sea viperfish

Glow worm

Brittle star

Comb jelly

Chain catshark


Slender hatchetfish

Lined seahorse

Japanese firefly squid


Scaleless black dragonfish

Fungus gnats

Bioluminescent eel

This biofluorescent hawksbill sea turtle, spotted near the Solomon Islands earlier this year, is the first of its species ever recorded. Marine biologist David Gruber, who found the creature, has described it as looking like "a bright red and green spaceship."

Reptiles aren't generally known for glowing in the dark, and it's still not clear why this creature glows in neon colors. But there are plenty of other animals who have been getting their glow on for a very long time...

Caption by / Photo by David Gruber

This mouse has been genetically modified with green-fluorescent protein (GFP) attached to actin molecules.

Caption by / Photo by Corbis

Marine biologists aren't exactly sure why the deep-sea viperfish has a dual strip of airport-style photophores along its abdomen, but the prevailing theory has to do with attracting prey.

Caption by / Photo by Corbis

This female glow worm was found blazing a trail of light in Malaysia. And if you think she's cool, consider this: One member of this species, the railroad worm, has an additional red light on its head.

Caption by / Photo by Corbis

In contrast, it's assumed that the bioluminescence that's emitted from brittle stars somehow deters predators. Most brittle stars produce light in green wavelengths, but there are a few, like this one, who shine blue.

Caption by / Photo by Corbis

Most species of comb jelly can glow in the dark. The behavior is usually spurred by some kind of disturbance, and young comb jellies glow more intensely than their elders.

Caption by / Photo by Corbis

Yep, this a shark. But the most dangerous thing it does to humans is dazzle them with its glow.

Caption by / Photo by J. Sparks, D. Gruber, and V. Pieribone

Fireflies use their bioluminescence to attract mates.

Caption by / Photo by Corbis

These deep-sea fish have extremely thin profiles that live up to their name. The photophores along their bodies make them look like glowing hatchets.

Caption by / Photo by Corbis

This biofluorescent seahorse was spotted earlier this year during an expedition led by scientists from the American Museum of Natural History. The seahorse is one of 180 species that we've recently learned can glow in the dark.

Caption by / Photo by J. Sparks, D. Gruber, and V. Pieribone

Every year, between March and June, these cephalopods gather by the thousands in Japan's Toyama Bay, lighting up the night en masse.

Caption by / Photo by Corbis

The reason for this fish's name is pretty obvious. Depending on the species, the photophores on the lanternfish may emit weak blue, green or yellow light. Males also may have different light patterns different than females.

Caption by / Photo by Corbis

This fish is tiny (less than five inches long) but it's as deadly as it looks here. It uses a bright, dangling lure to attract prey to its vicious teeth.

Caption by / Photo by Corbis

Hanging from a New Zealand cave roof, you'll find these sticky silk threads of bioluminescent glow worm larvae of fungus gnat. The larvae feed on the light-attracted insects that get entangled in the threads.

Caption by / Photo by Corbis

Plenty of eels can get their glow on, too.

Caption by / Photo by Corbis
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