Meet Chaetopterus, also called a “parchment tube worm.”
It’s a marine tube worm that makes its home in ooze and produces light via bioluminescence. Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have called the worms’ bioluminescent display dazzling. This display comes in the form of puffs of blue light, released into sea water. These scientists and their colleagues are unraveling the mechanisms behind Chaetopterus’ bioluminescent display.
The parchment tube worms get their name from the opaque, cocoon-like cylinders in which they live. They’re found around the world in muddy environments, from shallow bays to deeper ocean canyons.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.