A team of marine biologists from National Geographic recently set off to the Solomon Islands to research the coral reefs there. Instead, what they found was a discovery that has lit up the scientific community, no pun intended of course. Lead researcher David Gruber noticed what he called a “UFO” swimming in the water late one night. The UFO turned out to be something Gruber and his team could have never imagined, a biofluorescent sea turtle.
The turtle turned out to be a hawksbill sea turtle, an extremely endangered species. The newly discovered turtle is the first case of biofluorescence found in reptiles. This opens the door for a new way of looking at the phenomenon of bioluminescence. Gruber and his team hope to raise awareness for the endangered species and keep the small population alive.