I bet that you didn’t know that humans glow in the dark. Go ahead and try it yourself. What happened when you went into a darkened room? Did you set off a bioluminescent glow? I know that the answer you will give me is a resounding no. However, if you say that you didn’t, you are wrong. You see, it’s true that humans glow in the dark, it’s just that you can’t see the glow with your eyes.
I know, this is starting to get weird. Not that it wasn’t already weird enough, but to say it happens and you can’t see it sounds odd. To be honest, it sounds like it is about as reasonable as a church expecting us to believe that there is an all knowing being that we can’t see. If it’s good enough for them it’s good enough for us. So what’s the secret?
In 2009 some scientists who were probably bored and looking for some more ways to gain funding came along the idea that we may actually give off a glow. To test the theory out, scientists in Japan got five healthy male volunteers, and used ultra-sensitive cameras and other equipment for the test. They then placed the men inside completely light deprived rooms, completely topless (they should have used female volunteers), and watched them with the laboratory equipment. The volunteers were sent into the room for 20 minutes every three hours, for three days, between 10 am and 10 pm. The results were luminescent.
The results showed that humans glow in the dark, well actually, all day long. For the periods tested they found that the worst time for glowing was about 10 am, and the best was at 4 pm. Of the body areas tested for the short study they found that the face glowed more than the rest of the body. They think this may have to do with the amount of sun the face receives compared with the remainder of the body, and is more tanned. They think that the melanin, which naturally has fluorescent properties, may be behind this heightened glow. The results of the research also suggest that the amount of glow is closely tied to metabolism. But why can’t we see the glow?
It must be pointed out that even though humans glow in the dark, the levels are so small and insignificant that you will not be able to see it unless you have equipment worth thousands of dollars. Infact, the levels are around 1000 times less intense than what the human eye can detect.
It is also worth pointing out that this isn’t related to the infra-red light that is emitted by the heat of our bodies. This luminescence is completely unrelated to body heat.
So remember the next time that you say someone is glowing, you are right.