Bioluminescence is one of nature’s most dazzling phenomena, and photographer Joseph Michael manages to make the spectacle even more magical with his stunning long-exposure photos. Shot in a New Zealand cave on North Island, these images capture the eerie and otherworldly gleam emitted by glowworms, bioluminescent gnat larvae, which cling to the 30-million-year-old limestone cave ceilings. Michael photographed these limestone caves and their glowing inhabitants as part of his project, ‘Luminosity.’
Glowworms aren’t the only organisms capable of producing and emitting light. Bioluminescence can be found in a wide variety of creatures, from jellyfish to fungi to fireflies. The glowworms in Michael’s photographs are Arachnocampa luminous, a species of fungus gnat with a bioluminescent larval stage. Endemic to New Zealand, these larvae use their beautiful blue-green glow to attract prey.
Photographer Joseph Michael captured these images with his Nikon D810. Although Luminosity was shot in his home country, Michael’s talents have taken him around the world in search of the “rare and sublime in the natural world.”
Images via Joseph Michael