Published On: Fri, Aug 10th, 2018

A New Study Examines The Science Behind The Dazzling Bermuda Fireworms That Christopher Columbus Documented

A new study examines the science behind the glow of Bermuda fireworms.

In 1492, the intrepid explorer Christopher Columbus commented on the mysterious dazzling glow of the Bermuda fireworms that he encountered before reaching the shores of America, describing their unique light as being close to that of “the flame of a small candle alternately raised and lowered.”

Up until the 1930s, scientists still did not understand how these fireworms managed to achieve their glow, but it was finally determined that the light of these fireworms was all part of a complex mating ritual, according to the American Museum of Natural History.

According to a new study, this mating ritual of Bermuda fireworms is one that is intricately timed and takes place both in Summer and Fall. However, the timing doesn’t stop there. These fireworms wait patiently until the third night of a full moon and then exactly 55 minutes after the sun has gone down the females leave the seafloor and use their luminescent sea green light to attract male fireworms who happen to be passing by.

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A New Study Examines The Science Behind The Dazzling Bermuda Fireworms That Christopher Columbus Documented