These shiny lights in the sky look just like bright stars twinkling in the night, but they are actually bioluminescent glow worms (Arachnocampa luminosa) hanging from the walls of a cave in New Zealand. These bright worms are larvae and adult larviform females that are about the size of a small mosquito.
The glow is the result of a chemical reaction that involves luciferin, the substrate; luciferase, the enzyme that acts upon luciferin; adenosine triphosphate, the energy molecule; and oxygen. It occurs in modified excretory organs known as Malpighian tubules in the abdomen. Luciferin (from the Latin lucifer, “light-bringer”) is a generic term for the light-emitting compound found in organisms that generate bioluminescence. (Wikipedia)
These photos are from the Waitomo Cave in New Zealand. It is one of New Zealands most celebrated tourist attractions. These caves fed by underground rivers, tourists must take a boat to explore it.
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