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Sea Sapphire



The Sapphirina or sea sapphire is a tiny (less than 3mm), parasitic crustacean or copepod. Tiny and transparent, this creature is found in the marine environment all over the world. These animals don’t glow: they sparkle. The reason behind this is the iridescent, crystal plates inside the epidermal cells which catch light and reflect it back. Different species give off different colours of light, including golden, blue, etc. This display of luminescence is only in case of the males who probably use this as a way of attracting the females. They light up, and within the blink of an eye, they are gone, creating the most stupendous experience ever for the observer.


They are found in the marine environment all over the world.


This Organism are not only tiny in size but can be transparent when they are not 'sparkling'. Another big challenge to photograph them is that they are floating in the water column. Pic#3 shows the overall picture of how small they are and the one on the left was 'turning to transparent' each time I get too close to them.

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AlbertKang 8 years ago

Thanks, @Reza and @SukanyaDatta for your kind comments and appreciation :)

SukanyaDatta 8 years ago

I always thought that was the handiwork of luminescent bacteria!

Wow, outstanding !

AlbertKang 8 years ago

Thanks for your appreciation, @SukanyaDatta.
You don't have to be a scuba diver to experience this.
Just go to the beach at night and on a calm sea, you might see their 'glow' in large concentration.

Do a google search on "Glowing Plankton images" and you will see much more impressive possibilities! :D

SukanyaDatta 8 years ago

The notes are terrific...closed my eyes and imagined teh sparkles fading to disappearance! Even this second hand experience was extraordinary. thanks, a lot. Sukanya

AlbertKang 8 years ago

Thanks, @Despina, @LaurenZarate, @Ava and @Machi for your appreciation of this tiny Organism.

Probably not many post of them here because 1) they are tiny & 2) they are difficult to take pictures of.

Machi 8 years ago

These are my favorite animals! I am so glad to see some photos of them on Project Noah :)

Ava T-B
Ava T-B 8 years ago

Wonderful notes! What interesting tiny creatures.

LaurenZarate 8 years ago

Truly amazing. What do they parasitize?


Spotted by

Bogo, Cebu, Philippines

Spotted on Apr 14, 2016
Submitted on Apr 16, 2016

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