At Bioluminopedia you will be able to find out everything you ever wanted to know about the natural phenomenon called "bioluminescence", ranging from the cold hard science to the wild imagination of science fiction and everything in between.
Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism. Its name is a hybrid word, originating from the Greek bios for "living" and the Latin lumen "light". Bioluminescence is a naturally occurring form of chemiluminescence where energy is released by a chemical reaction in the form of light emission. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is involved in most instances. The chemical reaction can occur either inside or outside the cell. In bacteria, the expression of genes related to bioluminescence is controlled by an operon called the Lux operon. Bioluminescence has appeared independently several times throughout evolution.
Bioluminescence occurs in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as microorganisms and terrestrial animals and fungi. Symbiotic organisms carried within larger organisms are also known to bioluminesce.
One of the most fascinating experiences watching the movie was witnessing its breath taking array of alien, glowing plant and animal life. On the moon Pandora where the story took place it seemed nearly every living thing luminesced or sparkled in some way or other, some in response to touch, others reacting to emotions or thoughts. What a fascinating planet too visit, but that was just a fantasy world of make-believe wasn't it?. Nothing could be as amazing in the real world here on our lonely planet. Or could there be?
While bioluminescent life forms are perhaps not as common in the real world as they are in science fiction, they do exist and in a surprising variety of species and habitats.
“From the earliest times, human civilization has been no more than a strange luminescence growing more intense by the hour, of which no one can say when it will begin to wane and when it will fade away.”
W. G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn