Monday, November 5, 2012


Production and emission of light produced by a chemical reaction in living organisms is one of the most beautiful things to be seen in nature. Many sea creatures have this ability, some fungus, insects, worms and some bacteria also.

Students at Montana State University of Art in collaboration with Center for Biofilm Engineering , did an astonishing project back in 2002./2003. They made bioluminescent paintings using billions of bioluminescent bacteria.

Copyright 2002. MSU-Bozeman Bioglyphs Project

They placed the bacteria in special dishes, practically painting with an invisible ink which would become visible after 24 hours because that's how long it took for the bacteria to multiply exponentially. Only when multiplied, these bacteria would start to illuminate. I think it's such an unusual characteristic and quite a mystery for these organisms to emit the light only when in community and not when they are alone.

After several days, the light production would reach its peak and then gradually start to decline. And that's how long the exhibition of the paintings had lasted.

And so, after exactly one year, completely by accident, I finally discover where Balam Acab got his photo from:

Copyright 2003. MSU-Bozeman Bioglyphs Project

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