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NOVA: Creatures Of Light

Airs Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Bioluminescent coral. NOVA and National Geographic take a dazzling dive to th...

Credit: Courtesy of David Gruber

Above: Bioluminescent coral. NOVA and National Geographic take a dazzling dive to the hidden undersea world where most creatures flash, sparkle, shimmer, or simply glow.

Dive in with deep-sea scientists as they explore the undersea world of glowing creatures.

On a summer’s night, there’s nothing more magic than watching the soft glow of fireflies switching on and off. Fireflies seem special because so few other life forms on land can light up the night.

But in the dark depths of the oceans, it’s a different story: nearly 90 percent of all species shine from within. Whether it’s to scare off predators, fish for prey or lure a mate, the language of light is everywhere in the ocean depths, and scientists are finally starting to decode it.

In "Creatures Of Light," NOVA and National Geographic take a dazzling dive to this hidden undersea world where most creatures flash, sparkle, shimmer, or simply glow.

Photo credit: Courtesy of NGStudios

David Gruber collecting specimens underwater.

Join deep sea scientists who investigate these stunning displays and discover surprising ways to harness nature’s light — from tracking cancer cells to detecting pollution, lighting up cities, and even illuminating the inner workings of our brains.

Photo credit: Courtesy of NGStudios

Vincent Pieribone and David Gruber diving in research sub.

Explorer Profile

Marine biologist, ocean explorer, and professor David Gruber searches the undersea world for bioluminescent and biofluorescent marine animals.

Learn more about Gruber and his research:

First Glowing Sea Turtle Found / Move Over, Glowing Turtle—Meet the Glowing Eels / and Squishy Finger Soft Robot Hands Allow Sampling of Delicate Corals.

"There is a whole world on a living reef, and it's elaborate and bustling like a busy city beneath the waves, just waiting to be explored."—David Gruber

Creatures of Light Preview

Deep in the ocean, animals that flash, sparkle, and glow use light to survive in the dark. Airing February 3, 2016 at 9 pm on PBS

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