Fluorescent Corals

By xeniaforever 5 years agoNo Comments

Psychedelic corals, From Heaven to Hell, Atlantic: The Wildest Ocean on Earth – BBC Two

Corals glow under ultraviolet light in what may be a unique form of sunscreen.

Check out this clip from “From Heaven to Hell”,  the third episode of the BBC Two’s “Atlantic: The Wildest Ocean on Earth”. Scientists captured footage of a coral that essentially synthesizes its own sunscreen, in order to protect the symbiotic algae that lives in its tissue. Too much sun damages the delicate algae, so the coral produces a protein that absorbs ultraviolet light, and remits light of another color. The florescent reaction is visible at night under an ultraviolet light (the light of the sun drowns out the florescence), and the sight is otherworldly and beautiful. Enjoy!


For more information about this groundbreaking three-part series, which first aired in December,2015, visit the BBC Two’s website, HERE. If you are interested in filmography or photography, I recommend, as followup to the clip above, one titled “Making Atlantic: How to Shoot a Psychedelic Coral”. The entire series is available for purchase and download at the site as well.

  Corals, Photography


  (325 articles)

As senior editor here at reefs, I get to work with scientists from all over the world, and have made some wonderful friends in the industry. I also write for the site, and am the office manager at FRESH New London and the mother of two brilliant, talented young women.

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