What Is Bioluminescent Algae?


Quick Answer

Bioluminescent algae are a type of algae (simple plantlike organisms) that naturally glow in the dark. Dinoflagellates are one example of marine algae that fluoresce.

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What Is Bioluminescent Algae?
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Full Answer

Most species of bioluminescent algae glow blue, although in some cases, the glow is a green or orange color. The glow is due to a chemical called luciferin that the algae naturally produce. Luciferin reacts with an enzyme called luciferase, which is closely related to the chlorophyll found in plants, and the result is a bluish-green glow. Bioluminescent algae are usually naturally found in warm-water lagoons or bays but are often grown in artificial conditions for experimentation or as a light source.

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