Scientists Discover the First Glowing Sea Turtle

The hawksbill sea turtle—an endangered species—has been discovered to be the first reptile to be biofluorescent, which means an animal can absorb light, transform it, and glow a different color. This isn’t the same as bioluminescence which allows an animal or plant to emit light because of a chemical reaction.

Marine Biologist David Gruber and City University of New York professor found the glo’d up turtle when he was diving near the Solomon Islands recently, observing that the turtle glowed neon red and green. He was able to film the creature before he let it go (only to be introduced to a bunch more later) and as of Sept. 28 footage of the discovery was available on National Geographic.

For now it’s unknown why the hawksbill is fluorescent. Other animals that are also fluorescent include fish, sharks, and rays.

Watch footage of the discovery here.

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