Tiny Fish Use Bacteria to Glow in the Dark | National Geographic

Tiny Fish Use Bacteria to Glow in the Dark | National Geographic

(calming music) – I was in the Solomon Islands on a National Geographic
expedition. We were working in a shallow reef and
we had a big blue light that we were filming fluorescent corals. One of the safety
divers, Brendan Phillips, came up to me and just
started tugging on my camera and basically just gave me the message, you know, follow me. So I turn off my lights, I followed him for several hundred meters in the dark. Suddenly, I see why he pulled me there. There are literally thousands of blue, blinking bioluminescent lights. And they were coming together,
and they were joining, and there would be circles of them, and it was almost like
a blue, bioluminescent brick road just descending
down the reef, making all these shapes. It’s
the closest thing I’ve ever had to an Avatar moment. This is the largest
aggregation of Flashlight Fish that I believe humans
have ever come across. These animals, they don’t
even come out when the moon is out. They’re
so sensitive to light. Because they’re so easily
gobbled up by a bigger predator. So it has this subocular
bioluminescent organ under its eye, and it
grows, like a garden, these bioluminescent bacteria. And it grows them in
these tubes and it even projects the light outward.
It’s even grown this vasculature to feed,
to pump oxygen, to keep these bioluminescent
bacteria glowing bright. One thing that they do is
when they’re actually eating, they will keep their light
on so they can see the food. So they’re very visual creatures. And they’re using their light to feed. But when they’re not
feeding, they’re using their light to be able
to move in a school. A quarter of all fish species, some time in their life, they school. And there’s all kinds of
benefits to schooling. There’s safety in numbers,
and it makes it harder for a predator to really
zone in on one specific fish. What’s unique about these animals is the relationship they have
with this bioluminescent bacteria that they harvest in their eye. Only nine species have this ability. We do know that they do
something called a blink and run. When they want to evade
a predator, they will start swimming in one direction, blink, and then immediately turn
in the other direction. So a predator trying to follow
in the dark will lose it. Recording this and
proving this opens up the possibility that the deep sea is filled with billions of
bioluminescent schooling fish and us humans have just not seen this yet, because we’re not in the deep sea with all our lights off.

Comments (77)

  1. Hi Nat Geo
    Blessings .

  2. All I know is that I would be terrified to swim in pitch black ocean.

  3. Who else subbed in almost never watches these videos

  4. This is so interesting

  5. Wow! What a beautiful fish!

  6. Nobody:

    Tiny fish: Glowing noises

  7. I really like this kind of videos and elese do like this comment

  8. The question this video doesn't answer is : how do they control the bacteria to produce the light??

  9. Very rare fishes under the Sea…we need to appreciate the ocean drivers and NGC for capturing this kind of videography..

  10. Can you guys sub 2 me please I am trying to hit 100???

  11. I saw it on BBC earth

  12. São os pirilampos do oceano?? Fantástico…e não sabia mas fiquei a saber que através de uma bactéria estes peixes podem imitar luz na escuridão!! Só mesmo a Nat Geo para surpreender!!

  13. These fishes are like the fireflies in the deep sea…amazing!!!

  14. That's cool! I have a leaf frog from the Solomon Islands

  15. So can anyone please explain how they get the bacteria to produce light when they want it to. Like how do they blink the light basically?

  16. I saw enough time Nemo to know what happen if you follow that light

  17. Amazing I want to experience this to my own

  18. Go to Vhadoo Islands Maldives it's blue blue blue on the beaches for miles. Look at the YOUTUBE video. Type in Vhadoo Islands Glowing beach.


  19. Humans own nothing

  20. Thats fishParty swim4all

  21. I forgot Avatar existed

  22. Why are flashlight fish so bright ?
    Because they stay in schools.

  23. Scientists have found a new explanation for a behavior they witnessed in the largest school of glowing fish ever seen. To learn more, you can read on here:

  24. Absolutely magnificent!!!!??
    ?? Godspeed Sincerely from LarryWhittington

  25. You would not believe if your eyes if 10 million flashlight fish lit up the world as I fell asleep

  26. I had an Avatar moment once. I was trying to mine some unobtainium and all these little blue people were mad I bulldozed their mother tree.

  27. I use bacteria to keep my sister out of my room.

  28. So.. thats means is possible to create a fermented drink that make people shiny on nights.

  29. The true glofish that was made by mother nature rather that genetic manipulation .

  30. Glowinthedarkism.

  31. What is the name of the bacteria responsible for bioluminescence

  32. This is wonderful ? .

  33. Wow. So wonder way.

  34. Awesome looking creatures

  35. It would hv been much better if this diver had shut up his mouth.

  36. Ни чего не понял но интересно.

  37. They’re quite beautiful!

  38. “They’re so sensitive to light”
    Turns on flash light

  39. What bacteria is this? I did not find this information in both the video and the article.

  40. Wow! Ya learn somethin' new every day!

  41. Why only one colour?

  42. Basically enlighten yourself, open your mind and use stuff like bacteria to light up

  43. Gold wrold I love the glow ?

  44. Lol he said Avatar ?

  45. Ouh… gorgeous..

  46. Scientist: group of fishes are called school

    Americans : * relouds M -16*

  47. I heard Quran refers to these fishes 1400 years ago

  48. This is soooo fascinating!! Would love to see more of it❤️❤️

  49. what a story Mark

  50. These fish are like vampires!

  51. Amazing sea ??????????

  52. Good….I like it!♥♥

  53. It feels so amazing that the small fish that evolved to shine itself to survive. Moreover, it is so amazing to use bacteria, which are living things, to produce the light.

  54. wow! my sister is going to have a school lecture of this as her topic.

  55. Just saw this species today at the California Academy of Sciences. Was a really cool experience especially since they recreated the dark habitat so all you would see is the flashes of glowing lights.

  56. Ancient aliens made these fish millions of years ago ?

Comment here