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From the Backyard to Beneath the Sea....

Enter a dark and mysterious gallery and begin the fascinating journey on the ecology of bioluminescence! Bioluminescence is a living organism's ability to produce its own light. This is one of the most incredible, yet least understood phenomena in nature. This exhibit features some of the most unbelievable creatures ever seen-- from the familiar firefly and glow worm to the alien-looking angler fish and siphonophore, the longest living creature on Earth.  

Anglerfish display panel

Enter the darkened gallery filled with large displays that contain rare photographs and film footage of bioluminescent animals and organisms, research-related artifacts as well as live and preserved specimens. Enjoy the engaging hands-on activities that demonstrate the primary reasons why animals and organisms produce light. Play and explore the inventive light-related interactive devices.

Investigate the chemical process that produces cool light. Explore the world of light-producing terrestrial organism like fireflies, glow worms, and fungi before traveling on to the mid-ocean, where an estimated 90% of the animals produce light. Here you will encounter samples of alien-looking creatures like viper fish, which dangle a light lure to attract their next meal, and cookie cutter sharks, which earned their name form the cookie size chunks of flesh they take out of unsuspecting prey.

Finally learn how scientists study bioluminescence. See demonstrations of the interesting techniques and equipment used by scientists and then explore the many benefits of this research--from helping to speed the study of cancer-fighting drugs to the detection of anthrax spores in public spaces.

Enjoy some of these interactives with ECHO educators:

  • Living Light Lighting bugs aren't the only animals that generate light.
    Come experiment with ostracods to better understand the process of bioluminescence.
  • Firefly Fun Make and take home your own glow in the dark insect friend.
  • Champlain Sea-Filter Feeders Up Close A glowing Champlain Sea? Come to the Champlain Sea for a new perspective on who’s in the water.
  • Find the Fish! –Explore how fish camouflage, why colors in the sea matter, and the glowing tricks fish keep under their fins.
  • Fluorescence Rocks! –Be a geologist and perform rock tests to discover the properties of fascinating glowing mineral miracles!
  • The Foxfire Fable – Hear the story of a brother and sister who learn that Grandma knows best when it comes to exploring the outdoors at night!
  • Firefly Watch Skill Builder – Learn how you can be a citizen scientist and contribute to what scientist know about fireflies by investigating your own backyard & beyond.
Come to ECHO and explore this dark and mysterious world and discover the science behind objects that glow without bioluminescence. By the time the show is over, you'll be an expert on all that shines.
TV Commercial


Exhibit sponsor

GLOW: Living Lights is generously sponsored by Revision.

Newspaper sponsor

Television sponsor

WPTZ News Channel 5

©2015 Leahy Center for Lake Champlain - ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center - One College St. - Burlington VT 05401 - 802.864.1848 - 1.877.324.6386
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