Anyone remember that really obscure reference to the movie where the old folks met the light up people? Did I just give myself a date?
Okay, well apparently we all emit light – it's visible light, albeit about a thousand times less intense than our eyes can even detect, but we all do. Apparently all beings emit visible light from the biological processes and free radicals and that jazz that occurs in our bodies. Perhaps this is linked to our serotonin and melatonin production? It's still being studied – but I bring that point up because the emitting of this very faint light has a peak and a trough, with the weakest emission being around 10am and the strongest around 4pm.
From an article at LiveScience:
The researchers found the body glow rose and fell over the day, with its lowest point at 10 a.m. and its peak at 4 p.m., dropping gradually after that. These findings suggest there is light emission linked to our body clocks, most likely due to how our metabolic rhythms fluctuate over the course of the day.
Faces glowed more than the rest of the body. This might be because faces are more tanned than the rest of the body, since they get more exposure to sunlight – the pigment behind skin color, melanin, has fluorescent components that could enhance the body's miniscule light production.
Since this faint light is linked with the body's metabolism, this finding suggests cameras that can spot the weak emissions could help spot medical conditions, said researcher Hitoshi Okamura, a circadian biologist at Kyoto University in Japan.
"If you can see the glimmer from the body's surface, you could see the whole body condition," said researcher Masaki Kobayashi, a biomedical photonics specialist at the Tohoku Institute of Technology in Sendai, Japan.
Weird news! I never would have thought I would have learned that today. You can read the study's abstract at the PLoS ONE website – I highly recommend it if you're interesting in being a major nerd like me.
Here's the uncut image of the one above: