Um… I’m confused. Bioluminescent vacuoles, they do glycolysis and use some of that energy to create light and store compounds? Am I right or confused?

Really late reply, but here is a thread I wrote on discord: So like Phrenotopian sorta said, you can’t make a perpetual motion machine. But like Ice Djuro said, you can make a more efficient bioluminescent cell. But then what is the point of bioluminescence? If it has no effect, there is no reason to go through all of that, since the laws of thermodynamics say you cant get more energy than what you put in.

[ 4:58 PM ]

Based on wikipedia, “The wide-ranged biological purposes of bio-luminescence include but are not limited to attraction of mates,[7] defense against predators, and warning signals. In the case of bioluminescent bacteria, bio-luminescence mainly serves as a form of dispersal. It has been hypothesized that enteric bacteria (bacteria that survive in the guts of other organisms) - especially those prevalent in the depths of the ocean - employ bio-luminescence as an effective form of distribution.[8] After making their way into the digestive tracts of fish and other marine organisms and being excreted in fecal pellets, bioluminescent bacteria are able to utilize their bio-luminescent capabilities to lure in other organisms and prompt ingestion of these bacterial-containing fecal pellets.[9] The bio-luminescence of bacteria thereby ensures their survival, persistence, and dispersal as they are able to enter and inhabit other organisms.” and also ,“Bioluminescence has several functions in different taxa. Steven Haddock et al. (2010) list as more or less definite functions in marine organisms the following: defensive functions of startle, counterillumination (camouflage), misdirection (smoke screen), distractive body parts, burglar alarm (making predators easier for higher predators to see), and warning to deter settlers; offensive functions of lure, stun or confuse prey, illuminate prey, and mate attraction/recognition. It is much easier for researchers to detect that a species is able to produce light than to analyse the chemical mechanisms or to prove what function the light serves.[31] In some cases the function is unknown, as with species in three families of earthworm (Oligochaeta), such as Diplocardia longa where the coelomic fluid produces light when the animal moves.[39] The following functions are reasonably well established in the named organisms.”

[ 4:59 PM ]

According to the source, this means both unicellular and multicellular animals benefit from this function.
For example, you can also lure in phototrophs or diurnal critters right into your mouth

[ 5:15 PM ]

I read a little bit, and found out the enzyme used in fireflies is called luciferase. It uses oxygen and atp. So the luciferase and atp combine to make products luciferyl adenylate, and PP. The luciferyl adenylate then combines with oxygen to make oxyluciferin, AMP, and light.
I’m not a chemist really, but one of my uncles is, so I can call him to fact check.
I think the Diphosphate is waste, and the oxyluciferin is used up luciferyl adenylate.


Well, one reason to include bioluminescence in-game is to make it look cool. When the deep sea patches are darkened, so it’s harder to see for both player and NPCs, this could make for some eerie gameplay not unlike in Subnautica. We can just conjure up some in-game benefits, because copying nature too closely may become too cumbersome.


Wow, that’s a really beautiful vision of the game. You swimming around in the dark deep sea with a creature of your own, darkness surrounding your proximity in all directions, only being broken by ethereal lights of other organisms

Thrive has closely copied nature very well so far, and risking time of development for the accuracy of the game isn’t new. Yes, it will take quite a bit, but in the end we will have an actual use for the item, rather than an aesthetic no one will want since it just uses up atp.

Make no mistake: I for one am all for sticking to nature as closely as at all possible. However, bioluminescence doesn’t really fit in the Microbe Stage, because apparently the only reason RL bacteria do it is to become eaten as to enter other creatures’ intestinal flora. And intestinal flora phases aren’t really a thing in Thrive’s Microbe Stage.

It would be really cool in the Multicellular (Macrobe?) Stage, though.

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I see fit as distraction. For example, eyes help predation and will probably be closely evolved over time. Bioluminescence will probably use this as a confusing pattern, similar to zebras I believe. A new strategy of confusion and inner microbial complexity? Also, it can trick other cells into being drawn into the light source, such as phototrophs, and cause a lure like ability , while also putting you at risk of predators to evolve engulfing when coming across light. Idk, and I’m rushing this apply, so please tell me what you think!

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Yeah, I like how bioluminescence could be made into a way to confuse opponents. Like a EM shock analogy. A creative liberty that may be acceptable for the wow-factor.

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