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Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

Firefly squid

Firefly squid are found in the Western Pacific Ocean at depths of 180 to 360 m, and are around 7.5cm long. They are strongly bio-luminescent - emitting a bright light-blue light from specialised groups of cells known as 'photophores' which are distributed across their bodies.

They are commonly found off the Japanese cost, and migrate in such large numbers that they have become a tourist attraction in some areas.

They reason for their light display is not known. There are various theories :

  • That they use the light to attract small fish as prey
  • That they use the display to confuse predators
  • That they are to attract potential mates.

Further reading (with photos)Flashes of Brilliance bioGraphic.

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