Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Love them or loathe them, jellyfish are amazing critters of the sea. Some of these jiggly invertebrates even put on a fancy yet dangerous light show. Dangerous for smaller creatures who swim close, attracted by the fluorescent red light, ready to disco, and before they know it, are entangled in the jellyfish’s tentacles. Got you! Here’s more about their glow-in-the-dark antics.

Blue beauty:

Thousands of feet below the sea’s surface, it is incredibly dark. Food is scare and whatever is available needs to be approached carefully – or lured carefully – lest it should flit away again. A jellyfish quietly glides through those black waters, suddenly sensing movement and potential prey. Quickly it lights up, emitting a fluorescent glow.

Beautiful light display:
Little fish, curious of this sudden light source, swim by to take a closer look. And closer, and closer until they get stuck in the jellyfish’s tentacles. The light show ends as quickly as it started and the jellyfish proceeds to devour its prey. Cruel? Survival, 1.5 miles beneath the sea.

Atolla jellyfish:
Though quite brilliant (pardon the pun), bioluminescence is not rare – about 90% of all ocean animals are bioluminescent. The feature is not only used to attract prey, but has three other important functions: camouflage; its opposite, a warning message to potential predators; and communication with members of the same species, for example when mating. It’s like flashing your best, er, tentacle forward.

Glowing red, deep down:
Touch for the jellyfish is a big no-no, a warning sign: Upon touch, jellyfish will light up, warning predators to stop doing what they’re doing and exposing them at the same time to their potential predators.

Who’s bothering whom? Two longfin bannerfish nibbling on a jellyfish:

Jellyfish produce bioluminescence through a reaction of the two chemicals luciferin and luciferinase. When triggered (e.g. through touch), luciferin gets oxidized by luciferinase. Their reaction results in a photoprotein that causes the bluish glow. Some jellyfish have an additional protein, the green fluorescent protein (GFP), which converts the blue light to green. A recently discovered and yet unnamed Cnidarian in the genus Erenna even emits fluorescent red. Bring on the light show!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas decorations come in all shapes and sizes. This post features our favorite examples of the most creative and unique Christmas tree ornaments.

Nintendo Wii Ornament
iPhone Ornaments
Sharikus Ornament
Grenade Ornament
Darth Vader Ornament
Xbox 360 Elite Ornament
BlackBerry Ornament
PS3 Ornament
Sushi Ornaments
NES Ornamen
Leica Camera Ornament
Star Trek Ornaments
Futurama Ornaments
Super Mario Ornaments

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Creative “shark-bitten” surfboards were used to promote Discovery Channel’s Shark Week documentary series in Australia.

Over seven sun-filled days, a number of “shark-bitten” surfboards were scattered around well-known Sydney beaches, promoting Shark Week.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

In a previous article you had the chance to see these ultra realistic sculptures of human beings. Now the artist Sam Jinks, who's been a commercial sculptor for 11 years and who spends his time creating hyper-realistic sculptures out of silicon, is returning with even more detailed work. You can stare for hours at the sculptures and they'll still look like they're real humans.