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Name: Emily D.
Status: Student
Age: 9
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: August 2002


Question:
We were in Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. What makes the water glow when you run your hand through it only in some places?



Replies:
Emily, there are some one-celled organisms that live in the oceans, that can give off a dim bit of light. If the conditions are right, they can multiply to where there are enough of them in one area that you can see the light they give off. You are seeing the light given off by _millions_ of TINY organisms.

It is odd to think of organisms giving off light, but it is not as uncommon as you might think. Right now, I have got a ton of fireflies glowing in my backyard!

Paul Mahoney, PhD



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