• By Perla Tiburcio

Bioluminescence continues to interest scientists today

In 1932, a scientist named William J. Broad dove down into the depths of the ocean in a small submarine to explore the bottom of the ocean. Board's submarine had a small window that allowed him to observe what was in the ocean, and, to his surprise, he saw light.

He saw different kinds of exotic sea creatures, including a fish with fangs that emitted colorful light from its tentacles. He wrote about these experiences in his book, “Half Mile Down,” at a time when seeing light at the bottom of the ocean was something completely unheard of.

Many of the animals that have the ability to make their own light, known as bioluminescence, live at least two miles beneath the ocean's surface. One of the earliest known examples of bioluminescence is the anglerfish, which has light above its head to lead it to food; many other creatures that use bioluminescence use it to catch prey. Others use it to show that they are threatened, or to help guide them around the ocean.

Recently, Steven D.H. Haddock researched the vampire squid, which can cloak itself with a glowing blue cloud, and the deiopea, which can produce its colors using its cilia. Haddock made 240 dives to research bioluminescence and wrote scientific papers on the luminescence of ocean creatures. Haddock brought the idea that there is more to learn in the depths of the ocean, and scientists today are still on a search for sightings of deep-sea life with bioluminescence .