Animals You Wouldn’t Expect to Glow

All scorpions fluoresce under ultraviolet light, such as an electric black light or natural moonlight.

Do you know the difference between bioluminescence and bio-fluorescence? If no, don’t worry; it’s confusing, but we’ll explain it with an example. When people watch fireflies glowing in the summer evening, it’s called bioluminescence. In contrast, some people witness a different phenomenon known as bio-fluorescence.

In simple words, both occurs when a living thing absorbs light and re-emits it as a different colour. It’s impossible for people to witness this UV light from the naked eye most of the time. We can use black lights to identify the hidden bio-fluorescence beasts in the midst. In this article, we’ll discuss 11 animals you wouldn’t expect to glow.

11 animals you wouldn’t expect to glow

So, without wasting any time, let’s dive into the main topic and find out animals that you wouldn’t accept to glow:

Flying Squirrel

Don’t confuse with the name because they don’t fly. They use flaps of skin and slide to drift downwards. In 2019, scientists discovered that three new species of flying squirrel. These species have pale pink fur colour under black light.


All scorpions fluoresce under ultraviolet light, such as an electric black light or natural moonlight.

Scientists have revealed that scorpions show soft blue-green colours under UV light. Scorpions have a built-in alarm system that prevents them from wandering around moonlit and bright nights. It saves them from predators.


A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals.

They look like plants, but actually, they’re animals. Corals can throw psychedelic light and show the benefit of a nature documentary. Moreover, they protect single-cell algae from harmful UV rays.

Cat Sharks

What's more, males and females of both catshark species glow in noticeably different ways.

They have elongated eyes and short bodies. The human eye can’t see hidden colours, but catsharks can see the members of their own bio-fluorescence species. When the fish dive deeper, the skin patterns become clearer.


Sea Turtles

Sea turtles, sometimes called marine turtles, are reptiles of the order Testudines and of the suborder Cryptodira.

They look like a red-green spaceship, and nobody has documented the bio-fluorescence wild reptile before. They mostly live around glowing reefs so that they can easily blend in with their surroundings.


 platypus fur glows bluish-green under ultraviolet light

Scientists discovered that egg-laying mammals are bio-fluorescent, and their fur glow green, blue, and tell under UV light. However, the reason behind this glow is still a mystery.


Puffins are any of three species of small alcids in the bird genus

They live on the coastline of Ireland, Russia, Canada, and Maine. When scientists put light on them, they glow neon blue.


Budgies have feathers on their cheeks and the crowns of their heads which reflect ultraviolet light

They are creature friendly and personable and sold around the world as budgies. When lit with black light, they look pretty cool.


The opossum is a marsupial of the order Didelphimorphia endemic to the Americas. The largest order of marsupials in the Western Hemisphere, it comprises 110+ species in 19 genera.

Teddy bears were named after US President Theodore Roosevelt, and a toy manufacturer tried to repeat the same thing with the introduction of Billy Possums. Billy Possums didn’t sell well. Moreover, like other creatures, the reasons for possums glow are unknown.


The South African springhare is a large and unusual rodent. Despite the name, it is not a hare.

These rabbit-sized rodents look like kangaroos. Scientists announced that they turn pinkish-orange under UV light presence.

Pac-Man Frogs

Ceratophrys is a genus of frogs in the family Ceratophryidae.

Researchers researched 32 amphibian species belonging to 14 different families in 2020. All these species were found to be bio-fluorescent. Still, research is needed about why amphibians glow.
So, these are the animals you wouldn’t expect to glow.

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