Bioluminescence can anime fighters glow
Law of Melee Luminescence- Any being displaying extremely high levels of martial arts prowess and/or violent emotions emits light in the form of a glowing aura. This aura is usually blue for ‘good guys’ and red for ‘bad guys’. This is attributed to Good being higher in the electromagnetic spectrum than Evil. (from Tom Williams)
“Um, Mr. Anime science, that’s cool and all, but there is no way for people to just start glowing, so why are we wasting our time with this one?”
“Yes, you are correct that there is no way for people to just start glowing, whether they are pissed off, and or martial arts titans. Oh, and yes I know that Goku is not human, but Saiyan so bear with me for a moment.”
I am sure most if not all of you have seen fireflies at some point, and just in case you haven’t they look like this.
Oh and I’m sure more than a few of us did something like this.
Why create light
Bioluminescence is the creation of light by living organisms using a chemical process. Why this happens is usually pretty easy to figure out. Most animals create light for one of the following purposes:
Camouflage- the light can be used to help the organism blend into its environment
In this case when seen from below the shark blends in with the light from above.
Attraction- used to attract a mate
Defense- used to blind the predator and escape or make the organism appear to be something else
Warning- used to scare off other organisms
Illumination- to see the area around the organism
Hunting- used to see prey or attract prey towards it
How to make light
This is the more complicated part of the equation when talking about bioluminescence. Here is the basic equation that the majority of organisms use to create light. Luciferin is a biomolecule that when broken down by an enzyme luciferase, generates light.
Luciferin + O2 + Adenosine triphosphate à (luciferase/ Mg+2) à Oxygen-Luciferin + C02 + Adenosine monophosphate + 2Phosphorous + light
Luciferin creates a glowing light and can be replaced in the above equation with Aequorin to create a flashing light.
Colors of Light
The most common color created by bioluminescence is blue, but yellow and green are also seen. Red is another possible color, but it is quite rare.
Organisms with Bioluminescence
Around 90% of the species that live in the ocean use some form of bioluminescence for the reasons listed above. Now there are some animals that live on land that also use bioluminescence; however, it is rather limited. Currently there are a few species of flies, worms, snails, beetles, centipedes and millipedes that use bioluminescence. You might have noticed that I left a few animals that glow in the dark off the list and that is because they exhibit bioflourescence, which is a bit different and will be covered at the end of the post.
An interesting video- warning it is a bit long
Now back to the anime
Given what we know now, I can get back to discussing Goku and other anime characters that emit light when they are powered up, fighting, or otherwise angry. If you are thinking why hasn’t he just declared this busted, remember that I showed it was possible for animals to emit light in a variety of circumstances. Oh, and one more thing, Goku is an alien.
Simon- busted since he is quite human
Goku- plausible because he is an alien
Goku, despite growing up on Earth, is technically a Saiyan, an alien race from another planet with very similar anatomy and physiology to a human, but an alien nonetheless. This means that the evolutionary path for Saiyans went a bit differently than it did for humans. As such it is possible that bioluminescence could be a trait that is present in all Saiyans. Given that it is used in battle, such bioluminescence would be used as a warning mechanism to scare off other predators. Also, we need to consider that yellow coloration is only used in certain individuals in unique circumstances; it is something of a vestigial trait. A vestigial trait is something that an organism has, but the trait no longer has an impact on its survival and reproduction. Yes, I know I left out the whole super Saiyan upgrade stuff, but come on, I need to stay as close to the science as possible.
Yes, of course humans cannot generate light when they fight, but if the character is not human, or the story is set in another universe where humans could have evolved differently, then it is possible for a fighter to glow when angry.
Bioflourensence is very similar to bioluminescence except that the organism does not actually create the light. In the case of bioflourescence the organism absorbs light, which is ultraviolet light in most cases. This light energy is either used right away or stored for later, which explains why some organisms glow in the dark especially under ultraviolet light. The organism does it for the same reasons as bioflouresence but there is a bit more variety in the organisms that can perform this. We can see this in the image below with a turtle that can bioflouresce.
Thanks for reading and if you have any comments or questions please leave them in the comments section below.