Yume Cyan shot these incredible long-exposure photographs of fireflies in the forests surrounding Nagoya City in Japan. Fireflies have specialized light-emitting organs in their lower abdomens which create a chemical reaction leading to light. Specifically, an enzyme called luciferase acts on luciferin, in the presence of magnesium ions, ATP, and oxygen to produce light. But WHY do these bugs create light? Well, the answer is sex. From Wikipedia: “Fireflies are a classic example of an organism that uses bioluminescence for sexual selection. They have a variety of ways to communicate with mates in courtships: steady glows, flashing, and the use of chemical signals unrelated to photic systems.” It sounds a bit like the Morse Code of sex.
Apparently, Yume headed to the forest in the Spring of this year during the beginning of the rainy season to catch the fireflies as they mate after thunderstorms.
The long-exposure photographs make the light look like big drops of green water… It’s a wonderful technique.
Find more from Yume Cyan at his 500px site.