Saturday, July 13, 2024

‘Glowing Sharks’ Discovered Off New Zealand


Scientists have discovered three new shark species that glow in the deep, dark waters off New Zealand.

According to a recent article in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science:

“Bioluminescence has often been seen as a spectacular yet uncommon event at sea but considering the vastness of the deep sea and the occurrence of luminous organisms in this zone, it is now more and more obvious that producing light at depth must play an important role structuring the biggest ecosystem on our planet.”

The scientists were able to document the luminescence of three species of deepwater sharks (Dalatias licha, Etmopterus lucifer, and Etmopterus granulosus) from the Chatham Rise, an area of ocean floor east of New Zealand. They compared pictures of these glowing sharks, and through further analysis were able to “highlight the evolutive conservation of the bioluminescence process within” those species.

“This first experimental study of three luminous shark species from New Zealand provides an insight into the diversity of shark bioluminescence and highlights the need for more research to help understand these unusual deep-sea inhabitants: the glowing sharks.”

Check out the full article here.

(Image credit: Frontiers in Marine Science)

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.