Inspirational Video – Invisible Shadow

What if you could  hide in your own shadow by glowing?

Not sure I quite understand how the  Hawaiian bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes) can cruise above its prey without casting a shadow even on a moonlight night but it is fascinating! And beautiful. There is something almost magical with bioluminescence.


The tiny squid hunt at night and instead of seeking cover in the darkness the squid has a relationship wiht a bacteria. It creates light not to be seen but to be unseen.

The bobtail squid is born without the bacteria and it get the bacteria from the surrounding ocean water. The bacteria get a place to live and the squid can hide. Hide by glowing.

The bacteria do not express ligth when they are freely raoming in the water, but when they are in the squid’s light organ it will work with the animal to emit light. The intensity of the ligth will vary depending on  how much moonlight and sunlight is visible above.


By Margaret McFall-Ngai – Divining the Essence of Symbiosis: Insights from the Squid-Vibrio Model, CC BY 4.0, x

The light blots out the shadow so that the squid can sneak up on prey. All sorts of weird and wonderful thoughts are wizzing around in my head when I read about this symbiotic relationship.

According to Irish legend, wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns and their pinches and tricks. But what if you could glow in the darkness and trick your enemies?

The tiny glowing squid is perfect inspiration for a story. Story writing is a great way to explore biomimicry.

  • Have you ever felt invisible?
  • Have you ever wished you could be invisible?
  • How would you use it?
  • What problems will this start?
  • Will the person in the story use the gift for good or for evil?


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