This photo has been showing up on various websites recently depicting glowing blue objects lining up along a shore. This beach is in Toyama, Japan and for the locals this isn’t such a crazy sight.

Before clicking “more” place your bets on what you think this is; algae, radioactive waste, aliens?

These are firefly squids who spend their days in the deep Pacific Ocean only to go hunting near the ocean’s surface when the sun goes down.

The reason for their blue glow resembling a new streetlight is bioluminescence, which is a chemical reaction inherent in some animals that cause them to generate light such as these guys’ namesake, the firefly.

The glowing parts are located on half of their limbs and at points along their backs.  Their undersides don’t glow to protect them from predators.  It may be hard to tell from the picture but the squids are quite small measuring only a few inches in length.

If you’d like to learn more about them then swing by the Hotaru Ika Museum (Firefly Squid Museum) also in Toyama.

Source: Livedoor Drazuli (Japanese)
Firefly Squid Museum: Website (Japanese)

▼A group of the firefly squids up close

▼In addition to looking good, firefly squid taste good.

▼The banner of the Firefly Squid Museum website