Why Some Civil War Soldiers Glowed in the Dark | Mental Floss

Why Some Civil War Soldiers Glowed in the Dark | Mental Floss.

They called it “Angel’s Glow”. At the Battle of Shiloh in 1862, soldiers reported that their wounds gave off a soft glow in the moonlight.

140 years later, 17-year-old Bill Martin asked his mother, a microbiologist who has studied bio luminescent bacteria if that could be the cause of this “Angel’s Glow”.

Her response? “Well, you can do an experiment and find out.”

So they studied, Photorhabdus luminescens, a bacterium that has a weird symbiotic relationship with parasitic worms called nematodes. The nematodes burrow inside insect larvae and then vomit out P. luminescens. The bacteria then produces a toxin that kills the insert and both bacteria and worm have dinner. The glow of the bacteria then attracts other insects enabling the nematode to attack a new host.

Bill and his friend then discovered that the soil and temperature conditions at Shiloh were conducive to spread of this bacteria and worm combo and the “Angel Glow” could have come from soil containing the bacteria getting into the wounds.

Disgusting worms, glowing bacteria, freaky war stories and a mom who encouraged her son to explore science. I couldn’t ask for more.

‘Well, you can do an experiment to find out.’” – See more at: http://mentalfloss.com/article/30380/why-some-civil-war-soldiers-glowed-dark#ixzz2M1f5U4PV
“So you know, he comes home and, ‘Mom, you’re working with a glowing bacteria. Could that have caused the glowing wounds?’” Martin told Science Netlinks. “And so, being a scientist, of course I said, ‘Well, you can do an experiment to find out.’” – See more at: http://mentalfloss.com/article/30380/why-some-civil-war-soldiers-glowed-dark#ixzz2M1f5U4PV
“So you know, he comes home and, ‘Mom, you’re working with a glowing bacteria. Could that have caused the glowing wounds?’” Martin told Science Netlinks. “And so, being a scientist, of course I said, ‘Well, you can do an experiment to find out.’” – See more at: http://mentalfloss.com/article/30380/why-some-civil-war-soldiers-glowed-dark#ixzz2M1f5U4PV

“So you know, he comes home and, ‘Mom, you’re working with a glowing bacteria. Could that have caused the glowing wounds?’” Martin told Science Netlinks. “And so, being a scientist, of course I said, ‘Well, you can do an experiment to find out.’” – See more at: http://mentalfloss.com/article/30380/why-some-civil-war-soldiers-glowed-dark#ixzz2M1f5U4PV
“So you know, he comes home and, ‘Mom, you’re working with a glowing bacteria. Could that have caused the glowing wounds?’” Martin told Science Netlinks. “And so, being a scientist, of course I said, ‘Well, you can do an experiment to find out.’” – See more at: http://mentalfloss.com/article/30380/why-some-civil-war-soldiers-glowed-dark#ixzz2M1f5U4PV

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