Question: Has anybody seen a glowing shrimp in real life or is it too deep to go down and look?

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  1. Awesome question, these shrimp are really cool. Several shrimp species “glow” but the most commonly known are the mantis shrimp species. The can live at a variety of depths from shallow water to deep oceans. The deeper in the ocean you go the water properties affect the light reflectance such that the spectrum of light is reduced down to the point where only blue-green light is available. This depth is much deeper than you (or an experienced scuba diver) could dive to without some kind of mechanical aid – like the submersible machines that take scientists to the deepest parts of the oceans.

    The way species glow when they are at these deepest habitats is that they have spots/stripes etc on their bodies that contain fluorescent material that can be stimulated by the blue-green light. Which is why they seem to glow when they are at depths and not glow when in shallower habitats. They use the “glow” as a communication tool but scientists don’t really understand it in great detail.