Bioluminescent Animals Photo Gallery

Bioluminescence is one of the more captivating adaptations that have evolved in marine animals. It's the ability of organisms to create and emit light. Dive underwater and you may witness lightshows of red, green, and blue. Chemical reactions release energy that produces the light. Many species use it to communicate; some use it to lure their next meal; and others emit light to ward off predators. According to NOAA, scientists estimate that bioluminescence exists in 90 percent of the animals living in the open ocean, in waters below 500 m (1,640 ft). It's a trait that has evolved in a variety of organisms -- a small fraction of which are in this slideshow.

Bioluminescence has inspired scientists and artists alike. Watch a video of researchers sharing stories of their encounters with bioluminescent animals and learn about the luminous art of Shih Chieh Huang.  

The yellow bioluminescent ring on this female octopus may attract mates.

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Submitted by erik (not verified) on

looks wired

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

thanks for all the help you really helped me on science homework i hope that you update your website so that i can get a little bit more information but keep up the good work

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Fantastic images!

Alen J.

Submitted by The Ocean Portal Team on


Sorry there isn't enough information. We're currently upgrading our site and hope to have more information about each animal when it's done and our slideshows are laid out better. Check back in about a month. Thanks for commenting and visiting.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I would have liked it if there would have been some more information on each organism. This didn't really help me that much due to the lack of information.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

There are some GREAT photos. Yet not that much information on the creatures shown.
Still I got some good information for my biology project.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

You didnt help because there is no information about the fish/sqid/starfish