Certain shark species have the ability to create an optical illusion that renders them invisible to both preys and predators, a new study says.
The study, which has been published in the recent edition of the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology mentions that lantern sharks make use of their light-emitting capabilities and natural shimmer to create a "cloak of invisibility" to protect themselves from predators in deep sea.
Besides this, these sharks also use their bioluminescence to facilitate other activities like mating and schooling.
The study has also confirmed a new habitat for lantern sharks which were previously known to exist only in the southern part of Japan, off Taiwan and East China Sea. The Okinawa Islands in Japan have been confirmed as the new location for finding these small lantern sharks.
Researchers at the Catholic University of Louvain's Marine Biology Lab have collected and studied three specimens of the lantern shark including the common velvet belly lantern shark.
The analysis has revealed that the body of these sharks contains 9 distinct luminous zones which cause the optical illusion. Light emitted from some of these zones, including the one in the belly, contributes to the "invisibility" effect. What happens if humans can replicate the effect?