As we've learned more about bioluminescence,  it seems to be everywhere in the natural world. There are even sharks that glow in the dark as they hunt prey and seek mates. Fortunately, the plants that give the Bioluminescent Bio-Orb its light are a little more friendly and offer you a gentle glow whenever you need it, with just a swirl. You can get one on sale for just $44.99 (reg. $49).

Truly Natural Light

The glow comes courtesy of dinoflagellates. These simple algae are common in all bodies of water, most famously the ocean, and power the food web, turning sunlight into energy and serving as food for larger animals.

It's theorized they create light thanks to how they process solar energy. The algae generate a form of luciferase, an enzyme that breaks down the chemical luciferin in the presence of chemical oxygen. As the reaction unfolds, a gentle blue glow flows out, reflecting the energy released by the reaction.

Why this happens is unclear, although dinoflagellate luciferase is related to chlorophyll, which points towards it being a useful reaction. The Bio-Orb allows you to view this process with a simple swirl.

Light With A Swirl

The hand-blown 4" glass sphere is filled with a careful mix of the dinoflagellates, water, and nutrients, all provided, so the algae have a friendly habitat. All it needs beyond that is atmospheric CO2. Keep their simple ecosystem topped up with water and food, and keep it in a place where it gets low to moderate sunlight during the day.

Then just swirl the orb and watch the reaction unfold. The algae emit a blue light that's perfect for setting a relaxed mood, getting a brief moment of light when you need it in the middle of the night, and to show off a little science for the whole family.

Get the Bioluminescent Bio-Orb for $44.99 (reg. $49).

Prices subject to change.

Futurism fans: To create this content, a non-editorial team worked with an affiliate partner. We may collect a small commission on items purchased through this page. This post does not necessarily reflect the views or the endorsement of the editorial staff.

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