Tuesday 25 May 2010
Sharks can become invisible!
As if they weren't scary enough, scientists have discovered that sharks can become invisible to prey/you using an optical trick. Not scared yet? Well, one of the invisible shark species is nicknamed the phantom hunter of the fjords. Run. Now.
The real name of the phantom hunter is Etmopterus spinax or velvet belly lantern shark. It lives in the deep waters of the northeastern Atlantic Ocean. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, the shark becomes invisible by regulating the photophores underneath its body. This makes their belly glow matching the color of the Sun's light above them. As a result, prey or predators looking up from lower depths are not able to see them.
Fortunately, not all sharks can become invisible: Only ten percent of the sharks can use this trick. And even better news: No flying invisible sharks with laser weapons have been discovered yet:)