Corals glow in spectacular colours thanks to ‘fluo-dive' lights

(All images: Oliver Meckes/SPL)

LIGHTS, camera, fluorescence! The combination of all three allowed German underwater photographer Oliver Meckes to produce these vibrantly colourful shots of corals, anemones and other Red Sea creatures in the dead of night.

When viewed with the naked eye, the organisms barely appear to have any colours at all. But when they were bathed in bright blue light from the lamps that Meckes took with him to the sea floor, they gave off the colours seen here through a natural process called fluorescence.

Shorter wavelengths of the light spectrum, such as blue light, penetrate further into the ocean depths than longer wavelengths, such as red light. These creatures, which are found at depths below 15 metres, naturally absorb the small amounts of energy from the blue sunlight that reaches that far down. They then emit the remaining energy at a different wavelength, but too faint to be visible.

Corals glow in spectacular colours thanks to ‘fluo-dive' lights

(All images: Oliver Meckes/SPL)

Corals glow in spectacular colours thanks to ‘fluo-dive' lights

Corals glow in spectacular colours thanks to ‘fluo-dive' lights

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