Animals You May Not Know That Glow

These animals glow and not many know about it.

Most people know about glowing fireflies. However, most may not be aware of a fascinating phenomenon known as biofluorescence. It is what occurs when a living thing absorbs light coming from outside and then re-emits it as the light of a different colour. It is a beautiful experience not many can get a chance to see. However, blacklights can be used to spot these biofluorescent animals. Here are some animals you would not think glow.

Sea turtles

Sea turtles are adorable creatures. A few years ago, a marine biologist and his team noticed that blue light from their camera set a hawksbill sea turtle aglow. The shell even managed to brighten the water with neon colours. This was something that had not been documented before. This may be because turtles live around reefs that glow.


According to experts, scorpions tend to have a blue-green glow that is soft under UV lights. However, because arachnids are nocturnal they do not expose themselves to UV light, even the moonlight. Some suggest the glow could be a kind of alert system to dissuade scorpions from moving to spaces that are bright at night. This may be to protect them from predators.


Corals tend to look a lot like a plant. However, they are actually animals. Some of them are also biofluorescent animals, which are oftentimes home to symbiotic algae that provide them with important nutrients. Corals even have the ability to throw psychedelic light shows. When these animals reabsorb light, they can protect algae from UV rays, which can be damaging. They could even help them photosynthesize.

Flying squirrels

It may sound confusing, but flying squirrels do not actually fly. They tend to glide. They used their skin flaps to gently drift downward after they leap off elevated surfaces. However, grey and red squirrels do not have this ability. Species like the flying squirrels can also glow. Scientists recently discovered that three species of flying squirrel, which all have fur look bright pink when under a blacklight. The purpose of the glow is yet to be discovered.


Recently, biologists examined 32 amphibian species, which represented 14 distinctive families. They discovered each one was biofluorescent. That included the eastern tiger salamander and Ceratophryscranwelli, which is popularly known as the “Pac-Man frog.” Why so many amphibians glow is yet to be discovered.

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