Glowing inhabitants of the oceans

Even in ancient times Carthaginian and Arab sailors watched the glow of the sea. Carthaginian admiral Hanno in V. BC. e. He noted that in the south of CERN, he saw the sea, «burning into flames.» But the glow of the sea for the first time described the Portuguese navigator and commander of the XVI century Juan de Castro in his book on the Red Sea.

Now we have had many colorful descriptions of this phenomenon. Here are the most interesting ones.

I not passed by this phenomenon and the French zoologist Edmond Perrier. «Suffice it to a short stay on the ocean — he recalled — to make sure the ease with which marine animals produce light. Brought home the sea water in the darkness illuminated with a thousand sparkles from mild concussion. At night, you can make a brilliant fireworks, throwing a bundle of the sea algae, around which immediately break out thousands of stars. The masses of small seedlings barely visible or microscopic animals were glowing at the slightest touch. We have seen the wounded hearts, that floating reserves the milk smear based on their wounds. In general, the ability to produce their own light is very common in marine animals. This ability to self-illumination is observed in the animals living on the sea surface, and its depth. «

According to biologist SA Zernov, «the scientist in the hundredth and thousandth time ready to contemplate the brilliant surface of the molten silver rough sea or in calm weather to monitor the burning track that is coming their way back the ship. Diving around the ship the dolphins seem then clothed in a wide brocade robe, and plankton net into the sea and is coming on board all in the burning of small stars with the apex of the cone, as if drenched white-hot metal. «

Such statements and certificates can result in a lot more. All they talk about the great interest of man to the curious phenomenon of nature.

The first explorers centuries ago in different ways tried to explain the glow of the sea. Some attribute it to the physical properties of the water, others believed that this phenomenon occurs as a result of electric sparks due to friction of the water vessel, and others explained its properties of phosphorus present in seawater. It was also suggested that the sea, absorbing the sun’s rays during the day, «gives» them later at night as a kind of glow.

It was only in the first half of the XIX century. Finally it was found that the luminescence of the sea owes its origin mainly protists.

However, in the oceans, seas and found a much more complex organisms, up to the largest deep-sea animals, causing not only the so-called «glow mori», but also created in the depths of the oceans and. Seas kind extravaganza glowing underwater world. These organisms include ledges and luminous reefs and rocks, lit the bushes of coral groves and gorgonians, branches of which shine brightly sometimes purple or orange-purple or blue shimmering lights of the then green. Some of these corals scattered on the sea floor, others nest in crevices of rocks underwater.

It is quite unusual and different glow in the depths of the sea, the so-called «the kingdom of eternal night» numerous fish and animals. When William Beebe, the famous oceanographer, bathysphere down into the bottom of the ocean, where pictures of fish and other animals, it was not necessary to illuminate objects photograph — you being so bright that the light of this light was enough to shoot. With a similar phenomenon when photographing underwater encounter other oceanographers.

These images sometimes talk about dramatic episodes occurring in the depths of the ocean. For example, crab attacks glowing sea worm, and soon the victim is severed in half sharp claw crab. What happens next? The front end of the worm is rapidly attenuated and the rear breaks even brighter than before. Crab immediately catches the illuminated half of the worm and devour it. Meanwhile, the front part of the rapidly disappears. Due to the fact that the worm is able to regenerate it after a while grow a tail and regain their usefulness. The back of the worm, which is unable to regenerate, in such struggles serves as a light lures.

Another scene: at the time of the attack of predatory fish shrimp last glands spewing from a luminous cloud liquid curtain of light that blinds predator. Shrimp, meanwhile, is hiding. Curiously, the fish itself, absorbed in the search for shrimp, perished: blinded, she did not notice cephalopod, who grabbed and swallowed it. At the same time, and shellfish, and fish is light and very bright.

The device is quite complex, «optics» shining spotlights at deep-sea fish makes them light the way while driving. In addition, the glow of other organisms is the kind of alarm, a means of attracting mining and lure individuals of the opposite sex, and for many other purposes.

Mandatory condition in which there is the glow of seas and oceans is salt water. As a rule, at sea glowing organisms do not glow in the fresh water. The only exception is one of clams living in New Zealand. However, at the mouths of rivers flowing into the seas and oceans, fresh water is mixed with salt and is sometimes inhabited by luminous organisms. Especially brightly they shine in moments of waves from passing over them ship.

One can observe a bright glow in the stormy Bay of Biscay, as well as within walking distance from the equator so-called «003 square.» Traveller Kruzenshtern, observed this phenomenon, recorded in his diary: «… in the same place now noticed a similar phenomenon soma captain Garpolt in 1792» Today the bright glow, especially in the western part of the Gulf of Guinea, watched Soviet sailors coming from Odessa to Antarctica on board ships flotilla «Slava».

The largest of all the world’s oceans for the number of reported cases glow falls on the southern part of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden; then — the area to the east of the entrance to the Red Sea and the area of ​​the ocean off the southern tip of India. Very often sea shines here in July — October, during heavy monsoons, causing tremendous excitement of water, contributing to luminescence.

In windy night over the sea can glow humid air. In this case, the light planktonic organisms raised a strong wind from the sea surface with water droplets.

Glow organisms in seawater occurs frequently as a result of underwater earthquakes: it is assumed that strong tremors spread through the water, leading to irritation, and that most of these organisms and Glow.

Often, the sea shines brightly during sea tornadoes. It is sometimes the glow of the sea there a few seconds before the birth of the giant waves. When the tornado dies down and the tide recedes, the beach and naked bottom is very often shine blue light. It shines a huge number of discarded here glowing benthic organisms and nochesvetok, peridinians, copepods and ostracods.

During the Pacific tsunami when a powerful wave moves sometimes with a speed of 300 — 400 km / h, eddy rotational movement of water and the sea shone even more intensively.

The glow of the sea — is the set of marine bioluminescence of living beings in the surface water column. In the interior of the sea water can illuminate only certain types of organisms — from bacteria to fish inclusive, leading mainly plankton, nekton part of life.

Reduction of the organisms can be internal and external. In the former case, the cells are lit, while in the second — by body fluid or mucus. More common intracellular glow and mainly bacteria and unicellular organisms. Intracellular, glow from multi-structured organisms (in the higher crustaceans, cephalopods and fish) is concentrated in the special «luminous» organs or photophores. These bodies in the morphological, physiological and optical relations are quite complex: they have reflectors, lenses, color filters, and sometimes the screen.

The most common form of external light — throwing clouds of glowing organisms mucus peculiar light curtains, dazzling attacking predator. Outer Glow happens more often in highly organized marine animals living in the deep waters.

Biochemical, as already mentioned, the glow can be explained by the interaction of the luciferase and luciferin. It is only possible if at least the minimum amount of oxygen (at a concentration of about 0.5%). However, there are the organisms that are capable of luminescence in the absence of so-called free oxygen. These include radiolarians, ctenophores and jellyfish Pelagia. It is possible that in the glow of such organisms is somehow involved oxygen contained in them in a bound form.

For luminescence always needed water.,. So, dry ostracods are off, but when wet their bright glow appears, although the crabs are dead. In 1941 — 1945 years. Japanese officers were equipped with dried ostracods. It was enough to take a pinch of dried crustaceans in the palm and lightly moisten them as occurred glow, enough to write or read anything, and the enemy (even if it is nearby) completely invisible.

In some species, cephalopods and fishes glow due to the fact that their cancer populated symbiotic luminous bacteria. In an emergency such animals bacteria turning off the lights, dropping special screens.

In the bulk of the inconstant luminescent organisms glow is the sole agent of mechanical stimulation — the movement of water, the friction of the air bubbles and a touch of other organisms.

Due to the large number of live and dead organisms seawater particle scatters and absorbs light and thus affect the nature of luminescence of the sea, especially when the luminous organisms are located at a certain depth. Scattering of light glowing around the body forms a so-called halo; when a lot of glowing plankton, sometimes they merge into a continuous light haze.

The presence of decaying organic matter rather promotes the development of marine luminous bacteria, especially in coastal areas and in a river.

Great value for the character and strength of the emission of bacteria is the sea temperature.

Sea ice glows obviously due to bacteria: yacheyah ice accumulate in the so called «vymorozki» containing salts and organic substances.

Light of the significant areas of ocean in the mouths of the Amazon, Ganges and Congo — shows the influence of saturated organic substances (bacteria) these rivers. In areas where there has been a so-called blooming of the sea, the development of luminescent bacteria can contribute to the accumulation of dead organisms.

The cultures of luminous bacteria, if they are collected in glass flasks, can serve as a kind of bacterial lamps. These lamps in 1935 was lit great hall of the Paris Oceanographic Institute.

The ability to preserve the culture of bacteria to glow for several years. Renowned scientist Beijerinck cultivated the same group of luminous bacteria for 25 years (1885 — 1911). For several decades in our country we live in cultures of luminous bacteria, open academician Isachenko and bears his name.

It is not uncommon sparkling glow (or «bloom») Sea caused peridineyami. These single-celled flagellates organisms (which can not be assigned either to animals or to plants) come in different colors. Because of this, particularly in the daytime, and the impression of so-called «blooming» of the sea.

Pyridine have a special suborder. One of its kinds noctiluca scintillans — is widespread in all oceans and described for nearly two hundred years ago. Nochesvetok size ranges from 0.2 to 2 mm. In place of the mouth of the unicellular — deep depression, and are scattered across multiple plasma lipid droplets glowing substance. It is about 12% of the total weight of noctiluca scintillans. Thus, the percentage content of this substance in noctiluca scintillans much higher than most protozoa. Noctiluca scintillans saturated lipoid substance reddish-pinkish color, and therefore the presence of a large mass nochesvetok seawater day gives it a pink or brown. It is possible that the ancient name of the northern part of the Gulf of California, abounding noctiluca scintillans — Vermilion Sea — was the result of this phenomenon.

This is how the accumulation of nochesvetok in the Western Pacific I.

Noctiluca scintillans found only in shallow waters. This attachment to the neighborhood of the coastal strip can be explained by the fact that young, newly emerged noctiluca scintillans must first hours of his life to rest up on the ground.

Radiolarians (pod) are a subset of the simplest type. This is — warm water planktonic organisms. In a radiolarian mud (composed of the skeletons of these organisms) they cover large areas of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and at greater depths.

Light radiolarian — an intracellular, bluish, and occurs only when excited, mainly in the troubled water. Almost continuously their glow can cause mechanical irritation, but soon they go out from overwork. The ability of light appears they again only after one or two hours of rest.

A large number of harbor inhabit the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of the United States of jellyfish with a diameter of 5 — 10 cm. On their night light waves appear to be in flames.

In 1835, researcher Rathke described jellyfish glows in the Sevastopol bay. This jellyfish (its diameter is only a few millimeters) is widespread, not only in the Black Sea, but also in the Arctic Seas and the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, in early spring, it fills the dense mass of the Thames estuary.

«Filgurans» t. E. «Sparkling» — referred to some hydromedusae. Light also hydroid polyps.

From the order diskomeduz especially known yellow-orange glow of the jellyfish. It is found in all oceans and in the Mediterranean and reaches 20 — 30 cm in diameter, with tentacles up to 2 m. Turns her umbrella and the outer surface of the tentacles, and the glow occurs only during stimulation from the outside; sufficiently light touch to the jellyfish to glow emerged, lasting for a few minutes.

We in the Black, Baltic, Barents, Kara and Far Seas found glowing jellyfish. At night it is lit up in green, and the light and its long, retractile tentacles.

Widely known Japanese form of crustaceans — «tsipridina.» The Japanese call it «umihotaru» — «sea firefly». The gland, located at the mouth of crustaceans, allocates glowing bright blue slime. The Panama Canal Zone, in the bay of Cumbre, you can watch the frequent changes in color of the sea because of the many ostracods; At night the whole area is usually strong light.

Flashing light suddenly fades gradually crustacean. Especially brightly lit eyes on stalks authorities. Science knows shrimp, having a lot of points of light (about 150). In the Atlantic Ocean, the Sea of ​​Japan, in Peter the Great Bay and in several other places of the oceans can find pelagic crustacean Lucifer (Lucifer — «light bearer»). It — rod-shaped shrimp. Its value reaches approximately 1 cm.

In the subtropics and in the Mediterranean Sea most often seen glowing plankton nudibranchs «fillirroe.» He — flattened transparent body (about 3 cm long) on ​​his head — a pair of long tentacles. Happy fillirroe changes its color, possessing a complex system of chromatophores, if found in his body symbiotic zooxanthellae algae. During stimulation of the body fillirroe night covered a variety of points of light, and from a distance it seems that the whole clam lights.

Eyes pterotrahei snails are capable of stimulation time to shine blue.

There are a number of luminous species among cephalopods and squid living in the dark depths of the clock and only occasionally at night come to the surface. For the latter characterized by highly developed eyes, the retina which is full of visual elements, and variously arranged bodies multicolored glow. Light and cephalopods living in shallow waters. However, they do not have cancer glowing optical devices, they emit a luminous mucus, or so-called «tail».

Small squid «firefly» vatazenii (no more than 15 cm in length) has the highest luminosity. During the breeding season the masses vatazenii float to the surface and shine very brightly. For example, the August 15, 1938 about 23 hours at 17 ° 56 ‘with. w. and 4 ° 18 ‘. d. the steamer «Themistocles» was seen a lot of squid (approximately meter values), the light will stop the ship involved. Once the light was extinguished on the vessel, it discovered mass lyuminestsityuvanie goals squid. Luminous organs of these organisms have a complex optical, morphological and physiological unit. At the same time they are the light of the different sexes. With this we can only meet the inhabitants of the deep waters.

There neglubokovodnye and poluglubokovodnye shark strong glowing green. Using this phenomenon, they lure their prey. In the Mediterranean Sea is home to a large shark, which glows brightly before, it can be seen during the day. Some sharks luminous bodies are on the ventral side of the body. Glow photophores arranged on the lower part of the body of deep-sea sharks are sometimes seen at a distance of over 15 meters.

Many fish of the same family sometimes observed up to three types of luminescent devices: reflectors pigment cubes, cubes pigment alone and exterior glowing bags. In other fish special Rotator luminous bodies in the direction of the pigment and the screen, if you want shade. Others — glowing bodies are located on both sides of the language, and sometimes there is a double luminous body on the lower jaw. There are fish that glow symbiotically, t. E. The light of luminescent bacteria, and fish with great force throwing a cloud of luminescent mucus forming the light curtain.

Some fish are located on the sides of the body long and short series of small luminous dots (sometimes up to 300 on each side). Two rows of illuminated dots resemble a uniform with a «bright buttons)). (No wonder one of these fish is popularly known as «sea Warrant Officer»). Although «the howl of a microscopic amount» buttons «have a reflector and lens and the pigmented lining.

William Beebe, whom we have mentioned, was a kind of diary of observations of glowing animals during immersion in the bathysphere to a depth of 765 m near Bermuda. At a depth of 204 m below the surface Beebe wrote: «It seemed to us that the door to the outside world is shut …» Dropping to 210 meters, he saw about 30 luminous fish. At a depth of 335 m Beebe said that there was «a luminous mesh — thin with large cells, burning and continually changing outlines.» When Beebe dropped to 365 meters, I saw a number of luminous phenomena in a certain distance from the bathysphere, then swept past the window «angler fish» 8 cm in length. It was burning on a thin mustache «lemon yellow» flashlight. A larger «angler», which appeared at a depth of 390 meters, had glowing jaws equipped with a number of large teeth. Beebe saw at a depth of 497 m fish with «dull light spots of irregular shape», and at a depth of 610 m before the porthole has emerged at the same time not less than 10 luminous objects. At a depth of 640 m in the first two lights appeared, trapped fish that could arbitrarily «light» and «extinguish» their «flashlights»; then — even 46 of these lights, 10 of them were high value and «burning» a pale yellow and blue light. When bathysphere reached a depth of 752 m, Biba «especially lucky»: he saw the fish about 15 cm long egg-shaped, with a wide mouth and small teeth, waved over her three long mustache attached at the tip of the strong shining «spotlights». «The phenomenon was so kind — wrote Beebe — none Stratonavts who first sees the landscape of Mars will not be as amazed as I was at the sight of this picture …»

What kind of people are benefiting from such phenomena as the glow of the sea?

The fact is that when the vessel is at sea surface through a mass of glowing plankton appears especially bright glow, which serves as a kind of reference point for sailors sailing at night. It helps them to glow and the water in strong tides and water swirling along the hull and the stern of the ship going. Sometimes the glowing «tail» at the stern stretched for hundreds of meters. At night, a good attitude is smear the motion of any object, even a vibration chain from a ship anchored.

The glow of the water occurs at night and when the waves breaking on the rocks, reefs and reefs. This situation often saves the ship from the disaster or the danger of «running aground.»

Known benefits that brings the glow of the sea in the fishing industry. Thus, the noble captain of Primorsky Krai ME Sidelnikov for many years enjoyed the glow of the sea to locate sardines, mackerel and herring. When the ship extinguished the light, the sea reveals a fairly bright glow, caused by the movement of fish school, and it is visible for hundreds of meters. Limiting the depth at which the fish glow noticeably, in some places up to 30 — 35 m.

Cluster glowing copepods and euphausiids draws the herring to the surface of the sea. Often these clusters cover an area of ​​several square kilometers — represent a rich catch of herring caught in a net fishermen? This method of catching herring (using glowing microorganisms) is provided, even in the special instructions of the Polar Institute of Fisheries.

All of this suggests that the living world «cold light» (t. E. Bioluminescence) provides aesthetic pleasure to man and bring practical benefits.

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