Marine biologists couldn't contain their excitement when they discovered the world's first glowing sea turtle.

 In a video shared by National Geographic on Monday, scientist David Gruber is diving at night near a coral reef in the Solomon Islands when he spots something absolutely magical — a glowing hawksbill sea turtle swimming right in front of his cameras.

"We found a biofluorescent turtle!" one of the scientists calls out from the water. "The first I've ever seen of a biofluorescent turtle," Gruber says, totally amazed. "Spectacular."

That sighting was a historic moment — the first known glimpse of a biofluorescent sea turtle. Biofluorescent means that the turtle's body reflects light from the water and reemits it as a different color — in this case, neon yellow, red and green.

Biofluorescence has never been recorded in a marine reptile before. Gruber and his team were in the Solomon Islands to find examples of biofluorescence in coral or sharks, but they never expected to find a glowing hawksbill sea turtle.

"It came in front of my lens and then hung out with us," Gruber says in the video. "I wanted to let him go after a little bit. I felt like he came and he divulged his secret."

Now that marine biologists know that turtles are capable of this magic-seeming biofluorescence, the next step is to figure out why they're glowing: Is it for camouflage? Or to communicate with other turtles?


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