Bioluminescence: Light Is Much Better, Down Where It’s Wetter

From tracking a giant squid to decoding jellyfish alarms in the Gulf, a depth-defying scientist plunges under the sea

Jellyfish glow with the flow in the Gulf of Maine and the Weddell Sea. (David Shale / NPL/ Minden Pictures / Ingo Arndt / Minden Pictures)
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Widder and the lab assistant don’t think the mud from outside the door will prove too toxic, but they are wrong: Within half an hour, readings show that the bacteria’s living lights are dim, and in the most concentrated samples, they have burned out.


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