Glow-In-The-Dark Sharks Discovered off the Coast of New Zealand

Glow-In-The-Dark Sharks Discovered off the Coast of New Zealand
Glow-In-The-Dark Sharks Discovered off the Coast of New Zealand Credit: Frontiers in Marine Science

GLOW-IN-THE-DARK sharks discovered off the coast of New Zealand.

In a bizarre discovery scientists have found that three species of sharks can actually glow-in-the-dark. They are all deepwater sharks, and the find includes the world’s largest known luminous vertebrae.

In what is the first study of its kind scientists set out to study sharks near New Zealand’s coast. Although the sharks were already known to scientists the discovery that they can glow-in-the-dark was new.


Researchers found that the kitefin shark, blackbelly lanternshark and southern lanternshark are able to emit light, also known as bioluminescence. The largest of the glow-in-the-dark sharks is the kitefin which researchers also call the “giant luminous shark”.

It is thought that the kitefin does not have any predators or the very least only has a few predators, and researchers now believe that their bioluminescence will help them see food in the depths of the ocean. They also raised the possibility that glowing-in-the-dark could help disguise them from prey as it approaches.

Other life in the sea such as squid and jellyfish are also known to be bioluminescent.

Researchers from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research explained how the sharks lived at a depth of around 200 to 1000 m, which is also known as the “mesopelagic zone”. It is not possible for sunlight to reach this deep.

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Alex Glenn
Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.


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