Your Guide To Glowing Creatures [Infographic]

A map of the color, size, and function of bioluminescent things

“Bioluminescent” is the preferred adjective for animals and fungi and bacteria (and bacteria-powered lamps!) that naturally glow. Information designer Kanny Yeung mapped those species in an expansive infographic that breaks down the creatures’ family trees, first organizing them by either fungi or animalia, then moving along to individual species.

A bar next to the species name represents the color of the creature’s glow, the size of the organ that causes it to glow, and why it glows. (A key at the bottom of the infographic has symbols for distraction, attraction, and more.) Plenty of species are on here–look at the colossal squid!–but it also seems slightly incomplete, and it’s not quite clear why. Some bioluminescent fish don’t have colored bars next to their names. Is it because the organs that create the light are too small? Because there’s not enough info on those species? Something else? We’re not sure.

Still, there are enough names here to keep you busy Googling weird ocean-dwellers for quite a while. See the full infographic here.

Kanny Yeung