Back to the Avatar: Blue Firefly phenomenon in Fuzhou, Fujian Province

By | August 15, 2013

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On the evening of August 13th, the  “Blue Sand” or Sea Firefly phenomenon was found in Pingtan County, Fuzhou City, South China’s Fujian Province. Under the lapping waves, the whole coastal line was like the Milky Way. Some people said it was like the wonderful world in the American movie, “Avatar”. In Chinese the phenomenon of Blue Sand is widely known as Blue Tear (蓝眼泪) following a Chinese Movie “Moon Warriors” (战神传说). According to the tourists, the “Blue Tears” phenomenon had lasted for several days.

Profile of Sea Firefly

The word “sea-firefly (in Japanese “umi-hotaru”, in Chinese “蓝眼泪, Blue Tears”)” means chemiluminous myodocopids. A species named “Vargula hilgendorfii” is one of the most famous luminous species.

HOW THEY EMIT LIGHT?
Sea-fireflies emit light by chemical reaction. They eject enzyme and substrate from their upper lip.
flush!
Substrates (Vargula luciferin) are oxidized by enzymes (Vargula luciferase) and become oxyluciferin. And redundant energy become light (peak wavelength 460nm).
Unlike firefly, luminous reaction needs only substrate, enzyme and oxygen. There is no needs for ATP or other matters.

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