Bioluminescent Fungi, Western Ghats, Goa

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With an estimated 3.5 million species of fungi, only about 148,000 are known to us today. Amongst these wide varieties of fungi, there are bioluminescent fungi like this one found in the Western Ghats of Goa and other tropical rainforests. Currently, there are more than a hundred known species of these bioluminescent fungi, most of them belong to a genus called Mycena (bonnet mushroom) (inset picture). 

A few weeks into the monsoon the forest floor starts glowing subtly as the … Read More

Bioluminescent Phytoplankton, Juhu Beach, Mumbai

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We all saw this spectacle in ‘Life of Pi’ without realizing what it was! These are bioluminescent phytoplanktons called dinoflagellates. Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light (at night) by a living organism. Phytoplankton are photosynthesizing microscopic organisms that inhabit the upper sunlit layer of almost all oceans and fresh water bodies on Earth. They emit a protein called luciferase which helps them glow in the night.

There are several genera of dinoflagellates which are bioluminescent. Most of them … Read More

Bioluminescent Fungi

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Night brings with it a sense of enigma. Darkness, and everything associated, is one such thing. This is more pronounced because of the fear instilled in us during our formative years. The familiar path that we tread with ease during daytime, under the cover of darkness, is full of ‘hurdles’ that often don’t physically exist. This primarily is due to our dependence on our vision. It also prevents us from exploring our environment under the night sky. For most urbanites … Read More