Pyrocystis fusiformis is a large marine bioluminescent algae. During the night, its cells produce a stiking blue light when disturbed, perhaps as a defence mechanism to startle predators.
These are some very early tests for a new project with Dr Milton Mermikides and Professor Tony Myatt from the University of Surrey. We’re playing the algae sounds and music and measuring their response. I’m pleased to report that they responded to the various tones that we played to them by emitting bioluminescence. In the second test, we played the Pyrocystis the songs of Humpback Whales and I’m delighted to report that they “heard” their songs and responded by emitting ephemeral flashes of luminescence. There’s something quite sublime in watching some of the ocean’s smallest life forms “hearing” and responding to the songs produced by some of its largest inhabitants