A start-up from Paris called Glowee claims they've found a way to take a particular type of bioluminescent bacteria that lives on squid and use it to light up entire cities.
Bioluminescence is a chemical reaction regulated by a gene or bacteria that enables living organisms to produce light naturally.
Over 90 percent of marine organisms are bioluminescent -- algae, jellyfish, squid and shrimp to name just a few. Even though bioluminescence is so common amongst sea creatures, you land-dwellers may be more familiar with it in terrestrial invertebrates such as fireflies.
And now that the science behind bioluminescence is out of the way, LOOK HOW COOL IT IS:
Okay, back to the important stuff.
The idea for their technology reportedly came to the founders after they watched a documentary about bioluminescence, right around the time when an ordinance was passed that prevented shops from lighting their store fronts during the early mornings for economical and environmental reasons.
A statement from Glowee's website reads:
Glowee, the light from the sea! A living lighting energy, needing no electricity consumption, emitting very few CO2 and light pollution. A light coming directly from nature, at the crossroads of biomimicry and synthetic biology, ready to revolutionize our way to produce, consume and light up!
Basically, by harnessing these natural light producers, Glowee says they can make the streets pretty bright while also cutting down on electricity use.
And considering Paris is the City of Lights, it's about time they hop on this natural, environmentally friendly technology.
Here's how it works:
Now, you might be hearing the word "bacteria" and imagining buildings covered in a radioactive-looking slime, but that's not the case:
We cultivate bacteria with bioluminescent property coming from squids, that we put into our product, a transparent shell that can take any shape!
So instead of picturing the Eiffel Tower looking like someone sneezed all over it, think more along the lines of tiny "lightbulbs" that need no power source arranged into whatever type of display necessary.
Though the company says the light they currently produce only lasts a few days -- which is obviously not good enough yet to power a city like Paris -- it's still a big step towards a brighter future.
And for those of you who need to have the technology of the future RIGHT NOW, here's a bioluminescent "pet" you can own today.
More fun reads:
On International Women's Day, a British comedian had to spend 24 hours consoling men on Twitter
Heroic firefighters suspended for rushing a sick girl to the hospital in a fire engine
Real-life Superman saves distracted child from rogue baseball bat during game