Sea anemone fluorescing underwater

Sea anemone fluorescing underwater

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Credit: EYE OF SCIENCE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sea anemone fluorescing underwater, photographed at night using blue coloured flashlight and a yellow filter. Blue light excites pigments within some underwater organisms causing them to emit a fluorescent glow. This sea anemone glows green, and surrounding algae glow red. The sea anemone harbours symbiotic algae which require light to photosynthesize, producing nutrients which sustain it. It is thought that in shallower waters, the fluorescent pigments in such organisms act as a sunscreen that prevents too much ultraviolet light damaging the algae. In deeper waters and lower light levels, it is thought that the fluorescent pigments absorb ultraviolet light and emit it at a wavelength which promotes photosynthesis in the algae. This image is part of a series showing the identical specimen in white light and blue light. Photographed in the Mediterranean Sea.

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