Take a look at this saltwater fish and coral fluorescence video that was taken at night in the Red Sea (near Egypt).
Saltwater fish and coral fluorescence: an underwater video
In the video are breathtaking video clips of underwater invertebrates, saltwater fish and coral literally glowing in the dark. I found the story and video posted on Deep Sea News, which, incidentally is another blog you should check out too–they tend to post some really fascinating saltwater fish and coral reef news and stories.
The video of the fluorescent fish and coral was taken underwater on a night-dive in the Red Sea. The divers appear to have used a black light (UV light) to capture the brilliant fluorescence. The video is also set to a pleasant musical score. A couple minutes into the video, there is a clip of a hermit crab walking along with its shell glowing like something out of the Lord of the Rings movies.
Back in 2005, Advanced Aquarist wrote a pretty good article about fluorescence in coral, titled: “Lateral Lines: The Seen and Unseen world of Coral Fluorescence.” The article covers some of the basics on coral fluorescence–including a basic definition and how it works.
Anthony Calfo also wrote an article about coral fluorescence for Reefkeeping Magazine. In that article, Anthony clarifies the difference between phosphorescence and fluorescence. My simple takeaway from that was that phosphorescence is ‘glowing’ that results when light is absorbed and then emitted back even after the light source goes away–whereas coral fluorescence is when light is absorbed, another light wavelength is emitted back, but it stops when the light source is removed.
Ok, so that was way over my head and not really the main point of this post–which is one of indulgence. The video above and associated articles have awesome visual content for you to consume–way better than anything I can write. So go check it out and enjoy. The Calfo article has a pretty extensive bibliography (clickable) if you want to learn more about coral fluorescence.