NATURE’S LIGHT SHOW PROVES SO ILLUMINATING AT SEA LIFE BLACKPOOL

Staff at SEA LIFE Blackpool, owned by leisure giant Merlin Entertainments, have launched their own version of the town’s famous Illuminations, as tens of thousands of people flock to the resort to see the annual big lights show.

The popular attraction has put together a special display of illuminating sea creatures, including the fascinating flashlight fish and fantastic fluorescent jellyfish, to match the main attraction shining just outside the doors on Blackpool’s Golden Mile.

It‘s all part of an educational display to help children learn more about remarkable glow-in-the-dark creatures, which use light to hide from predators, attract prey and even to talk to each other. 

Around 90 per cent of deep-sea marine animals can produce bioluminescence – which makes them glow in the dark – but it is almost never seen by humans. 

Lighting up this secret world to visitors is all part of SEA LIFE Blackpool’s ‘breed, rescue, protect’ conservation campaign, as well as adding more shine to the resort’s illuminations. 

Matthew Titherington, general manager at SEA LIFE Blackpool, said: “The Illuminations season is a very special time of year in Blackpool, the lights attract people from far and wide and, as we’re slap-bang in the middle of the Golden Mile, we thought why not join in the fun?

“But there’s also a serious message about education and conservation too. So we’ve created this very special natural light show of our own. 

“It’s a truly spectacular display, the flashlight fish in particular are an incredible sight. Visitors to Blackpool’s Illuminations can step inside and see for themselves these fascinating, mostly-hidden creatures of the deep. 

“It’s a rare opportunity to witness them at close hand and we think it will be a really illuminating experience for everyone!” 

The flashlight fish is characterised by a bean-shaped, torch-like organ under each eye containing bioluminescent bacteria, which the fish can turn on and off by blinking, creating a flash of bluish light. 

Other glow-in-the-dark creatures include species of jellyfish, squid and dragonfish, which wields a sabre-like, light-emitting barbel that hangs from its lower like an ominous fishing rod to attract unsuspecting prey.  There are also microscopic, plant-like Dinoflagellates, which are found in warm tropical bays in places like Jamaica and Puerto Rico; glowing coral and plankton, which is the only organism capable of glowing yellow.

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