Science

Brown scorpion and its babies glow beautiful shades of blue and purple under UV after light

A new video highlights a mysterious feature of scorpions: When exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, the arachnids glow a stunning blue or purple.

The 14-second clip shows a brownish female scorpion carrying dozens of babies on her back, which are similar in color, but when a UV light shines, the group glows with eerie electric colors.

The adult scorpion takes on a bluish, green hue, while her babies turn a bright purple.

The UV light is converted when it interacts with the scorpion’s proteins, but scientists have yet to determine the evolutionary reason behind this mystifying function.

Some speculate that the glowing may help the arachnids find each other, knowing when it’s time to hunt or that it may be a way of confusing prey, according to NBC news.

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The 14-second clip shows a brownish female scorpion carrying dozens of babies on her back, which are the same color, but when a UV light shines, the group glows with unnatural electric colors

The 14-second clip shows a brownish female scorpion carrying dozens of babies on her back, which are the same color, but when a UV light shines, the group glows with unnatural electric colors

ecologist artist, Sarah Folts, shared the video showing the mother scorpion with a collection of her cubs clinging to her back.

The glow is the result of chemicals in the outer armor absorbing and re-radiating the light at a lower wavelength, Petal Pixel reports.

The outer layer, also called the hyaline layer, is transparent and plays a role in holding together cells that form during division.

The hyaline layer is strong and can stand the test of time.

The UV light is converted when it interacts with the scorpion's proteins, but scientists have yet to determine the evolutionary reason behind this mystifying function.  Pictured are the scorpions without the UV light

The UV light is converted when it interacts with the scorpion’s proteins, but scientists have yet to determine the evolutionary reason behind this mystifying function. Pictured are the scorpions without the UV light

Scientists have found that even fossilized scorpions glow under UV light. In addition, when scientists store scorpion specimens in liquid-filled jars, the hyaline layer can make the liquid glow.

However, scientists have observed that scorpions do not glow after molting, suggesting that the outer layer must be completely cured before it can shine in UV light.

Scorpions have also been found to glow under moonlight, which can be used by the arachnids to determine that it is nighttime and time for them to look for food.

California researcher Carl Kloock, who released a study on this idea in 2010, suggested there may be “a UV component in moonlight.” Live Science.

‘[Fluorescence] may be part of the mechanism by which the scorpions respond to moonlight.’

Some speculate that the glowing may help the arachnids find each other, know when it's time to hunt or may be a way to confuse prey

Some speculate that the glowing may help the arachnids find each other, know when it’s time to hunt or may be a way to confuse prey

The glow can be a way of determining when it is safe to come out.

Scientists have long known that scorpions are more active when the moon is no longer full, and their ability could let them know not to come out because the moonlight would reveal them to predators.

In 2019, studies used the scorpion’s ability to glow to search for the arachnids in Australia’s regional Victoria.

Using UV-resistant goggles and torches, researchers at La Trobe University discovered hundreds of burrows in the Mallee region.

Ecologist Heloise Gibb said in a pronunciation: ‘They glow in white, blue and green and are very bright.

In 2019, studies used the scorpion's ability to glow to search for the arachnids (pictured) in Australia's regional Victoria.  Using UV-resistant goggles and flashlights, researchers at La Trobe University discovered hundreds of caves in the Mallee Mal region

In 2019, studies used the scorpion’s ability to glow to search for the arachnids (pictured) in Australia’s regional Victoria. Using UV-resistant goggles and flashlights, researchers at La Trobe University discovered hundreds of caves in the Mallee Mal region

Scientists found that 600 scorpion burrows per hectare were discovered in parts of the region, where the arachnids had a powerful stinger

Scientists found that 600 scorpion burrows per hectare were discovered in parts of the region, where the arachnids had a powerful stinger

“That makes them very easy to find.”

Gibb said 600 scorpion burrows per acre were discovered in parts of the region, where the arachnids had a powerful stinger.

“The sting is not fatal, but it is painful,” Gibb said. ‘They can also be quite aggressive, sometimes we have to pick them up to take measurements, so we use padded pliers to pick them up by the tail.

“If they know you’re there, they’ll have their tails erect to catch you if they want to.”

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