Bioluminescent mystery animal filmed by eyewitnesses (UPDATE: Prank)

Yep, a prank for a TV show. Well done. But man, these are hard on me… See update below the story. The lesson here: Nothing should be taken as real.

Strange glowing animal caught on camera in UK harbor.

Video: Mystery ‘alien-like creature’ seen in Bristol harbour – Telegraph.

Experts were baffled after video footage emerged of a glowing “alien-like creature” swimming in Bristol harbour.

Stunned eyewitnesses filmed a mystery luminescent, tentacled being, which was flashing a variety of colours, floating close to the top of the water.

harbor lumin

It did not look like a machine, report witnesses, but then suddenly disappeared.

Close-up of animal in harbor before it went dark. YouTube screen capture.

Close-up of animal in harbor before it went dark. YouTube screen capture.

It’s an alien in the sense that it probably lives in a completely different world, the deep sea. Many deep sea creatures are bioluminescent – glow via their own chemical power. The experts consulted are not sure because the video is not all that detailed but suggestions include a marine salp (a tunicate) or a jellyfish. Whatever it is, it’s FASCINATING. Yet, it’s disappointing that people assume such a creature is an alien when there are such beautiful and fascinating creatures we have right here on earth.

Bright & Beautiful Bioluminescence.
Bioluminescent Invertebrates – Encyclopedia of Life.

UPDATE (6-Dec-2013):


It’s been revealed as a hoax for a TV show.

A series of paranormal videos released on YouTube and alien events in Bristol this week, were revealed today to be part of an elaborate marketing stunt by UKTV’s entertainment channel, Watch.

The guerrilla campaign was created to launch ‘The Happenings’, an audacious new illusion series featuring master magicians ‘Barry and Stuart’, a new show from the producers of Derren Brown.

The various videos, which feature paranormal and strange occurrences, have accumulated over 1m views since they appeared on the popular online video sharing network over the last four months.

We can no longer think ANY video online is real. The only sound skeptical position is to assume it’s not real. I’m kind of sad about that. We are in the Internet age where making waves and getting attention hugely swamps the process of getting to the truth.

Thanks commenters for staying skeptical. Can you tell I really WANTED it to be real?


  12 comments for “Bioluminescent mystery animal filmed by eyewitnesses (UPDATE: Prank)

  1. matt crowley
    December 5, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    I’m encouraged and fascinated, but remain skeptical. Most consumer grade video cameras have poor low light characteristics. I suspect but do not know that the go-to video recording device that most people have handy is a smart phone. Even the best smart phones are significantly limited in low-light performance, due to small lenses and sensors. Whatever is in the water is ~very~ bright. LED lights are cheap, bright, and ubiquitous. It’s also conveniently floating by a boat full of people.

  2. Kristen
    December 5, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    I don’t know much about deep sea creatures, but can they just ‘shut off’ like that? My first thought would be a prank.

  3. Chris Howard
    December 5, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    When you hear the sounds of galloping hooves behind you think horses, not unicorns.

  4. Blargh
    December 5, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    I’m with matt above. That thing looks artificial.

  5. December 5, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Don’t know what is was.*

    * copyright 2013 R. Jase

  6. matt crowley
    December 5, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    A quick Google image search for “squid fishing lights” shows a number of LED based illumination devices that are submersible.

  7. Tigerstyle
    December 6, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    It’s now been revealed to have been a stunt for a TV show:

  8. Chris Howard
    December 6, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Thank you Matt.

    I’m so buying one of those!

    I’ll be moved in to my house in Jeffersonville, IN (one block away from the Ohio River) after Christmas.

    If there are any reports like this coming from the Louisville Metro Area, well all I can say is “heh heh heh.”

  9. December 6, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Direct link to the storify this person is referring to:

  10. December 6, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Well, bioluminescence is abundant in the ocean & bloody fantastic so you can be forgiven for wanting it to be real 🙂

  11. December 6, 2013 at 2:32 PM
  12. December 6, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Wishful thinking, I guess. See, I DO want crazyass weird things to be real! I’m not a scoftic, I tell ya!

Comments are closed.