It’s not every day that scientists find a glowing turtle. In fact, it hasn’t happened before.
The first reptile to exhibit biofluorescence was seen during a recent dive by scientists near the Solomon Islands.
They weren’t expecting to see a glowing hawksbill sea turtle, but they did—and they caught it on video as an exclusive to National Geographic.
Nat Geo says that a yellow filter on the camera helped detect luminescence.
Biofluorescence occurs when an organism absorbs light and then emits that light as a different color. The most common colors are green, red and orange. The effect is often used for finding and attracting prey, self defense and possibly even communication.
Other marine life exhibit this capability, including fish, sharks, rays, copepods and mantis fish.
The hawksbill is the first reptile seen to have biofluorescence. According to National Geographic, some of the red glow on the hawksbill could have been from algae, but the green came from the turtle.