2 years ago
nicolejb
in English · 1,325 Views
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How do fireflies glow? The baffling bug mystery finally revealed
It took scientists 60 years of research to truly figure out how these bioluminescent creatures work. Until recently these cute little summertime beetles have been a strange and wonderful mystery.
They finally found the secret ingredient to how fireflies glow. And the results are pretty JAR-ing (just kidding, I mostly just wanted to use that pun).
If you were to make a firefly chemical reaction yourself, the recipe would look something like this: oxygen, calcium, magnesium, naturally occurring chemical called luciferin combined into a little box.
But they had yet to figure out the real combination of these ingredients in chemical form. Until now. And the missing ingredient that scientist just discovered: an extra oxygen electron.
Published in the the Journal of the American Chemical Society the chemical structure looks like this:
Combined in this little beetle box it creates photons, or light, in the form of the yellow, green, orange, and even blue flickers.
So we can all agree that fireflies are still magical right?
These might be understood chemically, but these light-hearted night-sky-dancing little bugs are forever a natural wonder.
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Same @jordanhamilton! Fireflies connect me to so many good summertime memories with my family
2 years ago·Reply
ohhh man they are the cutest @allischaaff! but I also know they are cannibals too. so they are romantic but also terrifying.
2 years ago·Reply
10
Hmmm. Yeah, I'd be pretty scared if my boyfriend tried to eat me... not cool, fireflies, not cool. @nicolejb
2 years ago·Reply
10
i love love love fireflies !! i once named one henry and then my neighbor squished him so i called my neighbor the henry killer for years
2 years ago·Reply
10
I love fireflies. Whenever I'm able to travel back to the east coast in the summer, I always get so excited to see them. We don't really have them in San Diego, but back in NJ where I was raised, catching fireflies was a huge part of my childhood!
2 years ago·Reply