Tag Archive: bioluminescence


Pyrocycstis lunula algae viewed under a USB microscope

Pyrocycstis lunula algae viewed under a USB microscope

Ok, I need you to squint a little at the photograph above – look for a vaguely crescent-moon shaped outline, with a yellowy-whiteish blob in the middle.  Found one?  That’s a Pyrocycstis Lunula alga!  They’re about 0.1mm to 0.14mm in length, and they’re one of the bioluminescent algae strains that I’ve been culturing.

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Penellus Stipticus, a bioluminescent fungus or foxfire fungus.

A Glowing Encrustation of Penellus Stipticus

Sometimes those crazy things we see in games which are too good to be true, have more than an ounce of truth in them.  Those CG scenes of Pandora that so wowed 3d audiences showing an alien landscape more alive in the dark, than during the day – had some small element of more terrestrial lifeforms at their heart.  Bioluminescent fungi like Panellus Stipticus.

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Marin Sawa's Algaerium photograph

Marin Sawa's Algaerium

I love this photograph – it’s Guan Lee’s shot of Marin Sawa’s Algaerium interior design project (seen over at Inhabitat).  I love the muted earthy tones with both a watery organic feeling, and brittle clean science fiction vibe.

It doesn’t hurt that algae are such a strange and wonderful kingdom of living curiousness.  Not animal, and in a different (but distantly related) biological category to plants – algae is different enough to be all on its own.

Then add in the fact some kinds can be eaten, some are fertilizer, some can be used as  biofuel, some efficiently scrub CO2 into oxygen for us to breathe (potentially in space) and some even glow.  Glow!

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