Home Biological science Scientists Discover ‘Glowing Snow’ in Russian Arctic, Explain Phenomena Behind It

Scientists Discover ‘Glowing Snow’ in Russian Arctic, Explain Phenomena Behind It



A new and rare phenomenon involving the glowing of snow has been observed by scientists at the White Sea Biological Station of Moscow State University. Vera Emelianenko – a biologist – claimed she was walking with a colleague when they saw a strange shimmer in the snow banks, according to a report by Sputnik. She then asked her colleague and station photographer, Alexander Semenov, to photograph the eerie lights. Later, Semenov posted photos of the amazing phenomena on Facebook. Emelianenko claims they blinked a pale blue when she touched them.

Alexander Semenov, who took the picture of the phenomenon, explained that they never expected to find beauty under their noses they didn’t even know existed. Sharing the image on Facebook, Alexander said he now knows there is also glowing plankton beneath the snow. He further stated that it was taken at the White Sea Biological Station during a snowstorm. He also said that as they walked down the coast, they noticed shiny objects under their feet, which glow in the dark. He then expressed how captivated he was by her beauty.

Copepods: Organisms that emit light

Vera Emelianenko took some snow and examined it under a microscope to find that the glow was caused by small bioluminescent organisms called copepods. Bioluminescence is the emission of light by a living organism. According to National geography, Ksenia Kosobokova, an arctic marine zooplankton specialist at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, said these copepods were trapped in a powerful current in the White Sea through holes in the ice and snow.

Copepods, sometimes called sea bugs, are only a few millimeters long. Some believe that copepods make up the majority of the ocean’s biomass and are passive swimmers. Copepods normally live 80 to 300 feet below the ocean’s surface during the day and climb a few feet above the surface at night.

However, some scientists believe dinoflagellate colonies, which are single-celled algae that exhibit bioluminescence, are more likely to explain bright snow, according to Metro. Jrgen Berge, professor at the Arctic University of Norway, discovered similar deposits in the snow on the coast of the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.

(Image: @ AlexanderSemenov / Facebook)