This turtle is fluorescent, and scientists aren't sure why

This Turtle Is Fluorescent, and Scientists Aren't Sure Why
This Turtle Is Fluorescent, and Scientists Aren't Sure Why

A hawksbill sea turtle was recently found that is stumping scientists.

The turtle was glowing, but not through bioluminescence like a firefly or plankton that turns tides blue.

It's biofluorescent, according to marine biologist David Gruber.

The way it works is, rather than producing its own light, the turtle's shell reflects blue light as red and green.

Researchers have recently discovered biofluorescence in some fish and crustaceans but never a reptile like the hawksbill.

While biofluorsecence is used in some animals to attract prey, hawksbills largely feed on sponges and algae, so a more likely hypothesis — as another marine biologist told National Geographic — is camouflage.

Still, it'll take more research to understand — something that might not be possible with the hawksbill, which is critically endangered.

See more of the stunning species:

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Originally published