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11 Illuminating Facts About Light

Maybe it's time we stopped taking light for granted. Citizen Watches with Eco Drive can charge under any light source.

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1. Bobtail squids have light organs that help them hide from predators.

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The bacteria Vibrio fischeri works with their light organ to replicate the light emitted by the sun or moon and thus camouflage the squid.

3. The aurora borealis is an effect of the earth's electromagnetic fields.

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The sun's magnetic fields can become knotted and distorted, creating sunspots and the beautiful colors seen here.

4. The oldest working lightbulb has been in use since 1901.

Centennial Light, Fire Station #6, Livermore, California / LPS. 1 [Public Domain] / Via commons.wikimedia.org

The Centennial Bulb has been proudly displayed in a Livermore, California, firehouse for nearly 115 years.

5. The first electric lamp was invented in 1809.

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British chemist Humphry Davy connected two wires connected by a carbon strip to a battery to create what he called an arc lamp. The device, however, was impractical for indoor use.

6. The patent for the first lightbulb was filed in 1874 in Canada.

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Canadians had a difficult time commercializing their invention and gave up rather quickly, selling off the patent to Thomas Edison in 1879.

7. Light makes people sneeze.

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It's called the "photic sneeze reflex" and affects 18–35% of the world's population. The condition is brought on when a person afflicted with the condition is exposed to bright light.

9. Diamonds slow light down to under half its normal speed.

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Most colorless objects only slow light by mere milliseconds. Diamonds, however, nearly stop it in its tracks due to their density.

10. Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) is caused by a lack of light rather than cold weather.

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Some experts believe that the lack of sunlight causes a surge in production of melatonin, a hormone that normally regulates sleep and can cause symptoms of depression.

11. The future of space travel may lie in light energy.

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Researchers are developing ways to harness light energy to power deeper space travel. Giant sails could use charged particles from the sun to pull aircrafts through space.