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How might mermaids make heat and/or light under [ocean] water?

I am not a chemist, but a worldbuilder. I use worldbuilding so that I am forced to ask questions and learn about our very real and very complicated world. I like mermaids, too, so here we are. My latest question is:

How might mermaids make heat and/or light under ocean water?

Ideally, this is a reaction that could happen organically; primitive mermaids could come by this in nature or, at the very least, discover it themselves.

Feel free to skew the composition of the water, sediment, anything. Also feel free to tell me it isn't realistic.

If you have any other notes or want to point me in a better direction,,,,, please do. I want all the information I can get. Also let me know of any resources!

Thank you 🙂

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New Contributor

Re: How might mermaids make heat and/or light under [ocean] water?

In the imaginative realm of worldbuilding, mermaids could potentially create heat and light under ocean water through a couple of organic processes inspired by real-world marine phenomena:

Bioluminescence: This is a natural form of light production that occurs in a variety of marine organisms, including jellyfish, certain fish, and microorganisms like algae. Mermaids could have a symbiotic relationship with bioluminescent bacteria or produce a substance similar to luciferin, which reacts with oxygen to emit light. This light could serve various purposes, such as communication, attraction, or even as a defense mechanism to startle predators. DogNearMe

Chemosynthesis: In the absence of sunlight, some deep-sea creatures rely on chemosynthesis to produce energy. Mermaids living in the depths could harness chemical reactions between water and substances found in hydrothermal vents or other geological formations to generate heat. This heat could be used to maintain their body temperature in the cold depths and could also be a byproduct of light-producing reactions.

Piezoelectric Effect: Some materials can generate an electric charge in response to applied mechanical stress. Mermaids could have specialized scales or organs that utilize the piezoelectric effect, converting the pressure of the water into heat or light.

Thermoregulation: Similar to some fish that can regulate their body temperature, mermaids might have a biological mechanism to produce heat internally, perhaps through a rapid muscular activity or a unique metabolic process.

While these ideas are speculative and not based on current human capabilities, they are rooted in natural phenomena and could provide a scientifically plausible explanation for the abilities of mermaids in your world. For further inspiration, you might explore resources on marine biology and the adaptations of deep-sea creatures to their environments.

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