Flashlight fish-A fish with blinding flashlights

Flashing fish blinding flash lights.

Blinding Flashlights

Have you ever been momentarily blinded at night by someone throwing the beam of a flashlight in your eyes?

Then you know how some sea creatures feel when they are about to dine on a tasty fish and suddenly have it flash a light into their eyes and temporarily blind them.

By the time they recover, their meal has vanished.

Flashlight fish, as these light bearers are commonly called, do not make their own light, as do fireflies and glowworms and most other bio-luminescent creatures.

In pouches under its eyes the flashlight fish stores bacteria that actually produce the light.

The fish can regulate the amount of light the bacteria produce, mainly through the control of oxygen.

The pouch containing the bacteria has its own separate eyelid by means of which it covers or reveals the green light.

It is believed that in addition to using these flashlights to temporarily blind predators, the flashlight fish uses them in communicating and in foraging for food.