A new discovery has highlighted just how little we really know about the natural world.
The scientific community is particularly excited about what could be learnt about the world’s first fluorescent tree frog, found in Sante Fe, Argentina.
While you’ve definitely seen glowing marine life before, a fluorescent amphibian is entirely unheard of. The discovery was made by Carlos Taboada and his colleagues at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina when they shone a black light on a South American polka dot tree frog. The frogs themselves are pretty common in the area and don’t display any particularly bright colours in natural light.
But check it out for yourself. The frog’s light green becomes vivid under the UV light.
The polka dot tree frog is fluorescent, which isn’t to be confused with bioluminescent. If it was bioluminescent, that would mean that chemicals in the frog’s skin would give the appearance of glowing in the dark. Instead, this little frog is able to absorb short waves of light and emit long (glowing) waves of light.
Julián Faivovich who co-authored the research, is excited for the potential to discover more glowing fauna – “I’m really hoping that other colleagues will be very interested in this phenomenon, and they will start carrying a UV flashlight to the field,”
Of course, this isn’t the only strange natural phenomenon that’s lighting up people’s imagination. There are Australian beaches which are filled with glowing algae, and jellyfish which contribute to laser beam production!