How We Got Glow Sticks and Glow Toys

Have you ever wondered where glow sticks first got their start? They may have been inspired by nature’s unique light shows. In nature, we’ve seen animals, insects, and micro organisms that literally light up the world around them. The most familiar bioluminescent creatures are glow worms and fireflies, who through biochemical means, produce light. The creatures use bioluminescence to attract prey, repulse predators, and for camouflage. Illumination is used for everything from eating and mating, to basic survival.

Some organisms have the ability to illuminate the stomach -and therefore location – of a predator when they are eaten. Some squid and crustaceans use a bioluminescent mixture that spills into the water around them and confuses their predators. Through countless hours of research, scientists are now discovering the dark ocean depths are actually penetrated by bursts of light from these sea creatures.

Perhaps this is where the idea for glow sticks originally came from! Glow sticks were first developed by the United States Navy for special operations. They used glow sticks for operations that would benefit from a dimmer light source that could be easily shielded. Although still used by scuba divers, glow sticks are also a key element in fun parties and on the dance floor. Useful and fun, glow sticks are a must have for get-togethers.

But what causes a glow stick to emit its eerie glow? The answer to this question is rather

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