Any photography enthusiasts, artists, painters or animators/cartoonists out there will know the importance of lighting. Lighting transforms the landscape into something completely different. It exposes and highlights different underappreciated details of the big picture and reveals them to you in beautiful or terrible ways. In nature, this phenomenon is seen everyday. Bioluminescence, the canopy of stars, the solar flares that smash in to our ozone layer, all of these events significantly alter our perceptions of the world. Here are fourteen examples.
1. Forest Park, New York
At night, 70 species of this fungus called Panellus Stipticus glows.
Its a sign of maturity and its bloody delightful, like a disco ball getting ready for a dance party.
2. Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
A species of glow worm found in the region called Arachnocampa luminosa make it seem like stars are out in the cave.
Their bodies produce light through a filament interspersed with holes. Its bioluminescence at its brightest (pun intended).
3. Eastern Coast, Australia
The Clusterwink snail glows to give predators a false sense of its size. It also lights up the ocean floor like an episode of the Little Mermaid.
4. Blue Grotto, Italy
They say that the smallest light can ward off the darkness.
Well, at the Grotto Cave in Italy a small cavity lets light in, rendering the cave aglow with blue shine.
5. Atlantic Rainforest, Sao Paolo
The ‘eternal light mushrooms’ are so called because they always glow. Their scarcity has rendered research on them inconclusive but they sure do put on a show in Sao Paolo.
6. Forests in the Smoky Mountains of Elkmont, Tennessee
Canada is a winter wonderland most of the year round, but it also features a phenomenon limited to countries at the far poles of the earth, the Aurora Borealis (for the north) or the Aurora Australis (for the south).
Plasma pies from the sun shake up the atmosphere and create these dancing waves above your head.
8. Toyama Bay, Japan
Toyama Bay is fortunate enough to display the Sparkling Enope or the Firefly Squid or the Watasenia scintillians so close to its surface. While they hardly swim so close to the surface elsewhere in the world, they create quite the rave in the Bay for all to see. They can also sense light and project the patterns below the surface.
9. Forests of Subtropical Asia
More glowing mushrooms called Mycena Chlorophos can be found in the forests of Subtropical Asia.
10. Kilauea, Hawaii
The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii gives off a cloud of sulphurous steam in the day and as the sun sets, it transforms in to crimson smoke and incandescent rock.
11. The Deep Blue Ocean
Over two thirds of Earth is covered in water, yet we’ve only explored 5% of that space.
Due to incapable technology and less endeavours, areas teeming with bioluminescent life remain strange to us and when we do venture beneath the water, we find that because light never reaches the bottom of the sea, creatures always have their night lights on.
12. Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia
The salt flats of Bolivia are so flat that depth perception is all but lost and some great photography can be done here.
Additionally, when it rains here (which is rare) the place transforms in to one of the largest natural mirrors in the world.
13. Catatumbo, Venezuela
Its a constant Rock and Roll Concert here. It’s literally as if Santana, Guns & Roses, Metallica and Led Zeppelin all come here to jam all year.
The sky is lit up so many times you’d think the land was spewing out excess power.
With 280 flashes per hour, 10 hours a day and 140-160 days a year, this place is a literal Electric City.
14. Vaadhoo, Maldives
This place has been making the headlines for quite some time. Phytoplankton are washed up on the shore and look like broken stars littered on the sand. This is bioluminescence at its most beautiful and poetic. This is also a normal occurrence in San Diego, USA during red tide, where another species of Phytoplankton decorate the shores.