In her wonderful 2020 book, Phosphorescence, Australian author and journalist Julia Baird asks the question: “Is there anything more beautiful than living light?”
Taken at a very literal level, Julia is referring to the enchanting natural phenomenon of phosphorescence, and the awe typically accompanied whenever we see the almost magical emission of fluorescent-type light by substances or objects without the presence of combustion or heat. But at a much deeper, almost spiritual level she’s also referring to the figurative light, or glow, that exists in all living things including plants, animals and, yes, even us humans.
In many ways, we’re hard-wired to be drawn to the wonder of living light. Look around. It’s everywhere in our everyday lives. Warming beams of sunlight as we walk down the street. Glistening reflections off the meandering waters of a local creek or riverway. Lazy rays of afternoon light peeking through lush leafy trees. The brilliance of a glorious sunset at dusk. Even the gentle light that filters into our kitchens as it nurtures a jar of freshly watered sprouts.
Living light at its best.
Light activates an abundance of remarkable reactions in Mother Nature. But to witness the light-fuelled transformation in seedlings and sprouts thanks to the process of photosynthesis – something understandably very close to our hearts here at Sydney Sprouts – is to see the natural world at its finest. For those who take the time to observe the magic of photosynthesis up close, it’s an experience of complete awe. As you can see in this time lapse video, the kaleidoscopic shades of green are truly mesmerising and spectacular, as life is transformed before your very eyes.
Did you know?
Photosynthesis even has NASA mesmerised.
Sunlight is required for photosynthesis to occur in plants. But did you know plants, in turn, also emit their own light during the same process? It’s a fluorescent light completely invisible to the naked eye. But as the scientists at NASA have become increasingly fascinated with during the past decade, it can be detected by satellites orbiting high above the Earth’s surface. NASA has even developed a way to turn satellite images and data into stunning global ‘photosynthesis maps’ showing the natural phenomenon in more detail than ever before. (You can learn more about these maps here.)
Phosphorescence by Julia Baird
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