This Glowing Sea Turtle Discovered off the Solomon Islands Is the First Biofluorescent Reptile Ever Reported

by Owen James Burke

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Screenshot from NatGeo’s video (below).

“Out of the blue, it almost looks like a bright green and red space ship came underneath my camera,” recalled Gruber of the “glowing” hawksbill turtle–an endangered species–that appeared in front of his lens during a recent night dive off the Solomon Islands.

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Screenshot from NatGeo’s video (below).

“Scientists have only really tuned into biofluorescent in the last 10 years,” says Marine Biologist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer David Gruber.

Biofluorescence differs from bioluminescence in that it is the process by which blue light is reflected as another color, usually red, green and/or orange. Conversely, bioluminescence involves either light-producing bacteria or a series of chemical reactions.

Further research is required to discover what function this biofluorescence performs, but perhaps, Gruber suggests, it may have to do with locating or attracting one another.

Watch the video below:

And, for goodness’ sake, if this thing exists, who’s to say that the elusive “jaguar shark” from “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” is not merely a figment of director Wes Anderson’s weird imagination, but just one more stranger-than-fiction real life anomaly?

Read more about Gruber and Co.’s discovery in the Solomon Islands on NatGeo. –OJB

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