What the Heck Is This?

This image is one of several in a new display on the artistry of scientific images at the American Museum of Natural History.

That's not much of a hint, but it's all you get. Well, okay: It positively glows.

Can you tell which sort of creature this is? See the full image and read more below.

It's part of a series of images of scorpions under infrared light. In the image, you're seeing just the front part of scorpions, rather folded in on themselves. As you might know, scorpions glow in ultraviolet light.

An aside: My son and I have used small black light to try and find scorpions at night in our backyard here in Arizona, but we've never had much luck. He did find one in the house last week, scampering across the living room floor after we'd all gone to bed. But that's because he turned the lights on, at which point it froze so I could catch it. He's found a couple before, and once he found a tarantula crawling across his bedroom wall.

See more about the art/science project and a related image gallery.

Under ultraviolet light, these scorpions glow naturally. A museum arachnologist takes advantage of this trait to identify differences among the species shown. (Image credit: Credit: © AMNH\L. Prendini and S. Thurston)

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Robert Roy Britt

Robert is an independent health and science journalist and writer based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a former editor-in-chief of Live Science with over 20 years of experience as a reporter and editor. He has worked on websites such as Space.com and Tom's Guide, and is a contributor on Medium, covering how we age and how to optimize the mind and body through time. He has a journalism degree from Humboldt State University in California.