Magnificence Everywhere (6/15)
Magnificence of The Luminous Creatures
One of the best-known luminous creatures is the firefly. Scientists have spent years of research trying to produce a light as efficient as the light produced by fireflies. Fireflies achieve maximum efficiency and lose almost no energy.
In fact, it is quite amazing that a creature is able to produce light yet, at the same time, is not affected by the heat of this light. Because, as we know, during light production made by today's technology, heat certainly is created and this heat is emitted outside as thermal energy. Therefore, for this reason, creatures which produce light should also suffer harm due to exposure to high heat. However, the creatures producing light are not affected by the heat they produce, because it is weak. They produce a kind of light called "cold light" and their body structures are designed accordingly.
Fireflies are actually a type of beetle which produces yellowish-green lights by means of chemical reactions inside their bodies. Fireflies, which flash their lights to recognize one another or to give mating signals, use different lengths of flashes according to their species. In addition, in some species, it is the male who flashes first to attract the female, while in other species, the females do the "calling." Some fireflies use their lights in self-defense. They flash to warn enemies that their taste is unappetizing.11
Besides fireflies, a number of other insects, various sea creatures, and many other types of species produce their own light. Each species has different characteristics. These include the manner of light production, the fields of their usage of light, and the lengths and kinds of light they produce.
Who furnished these creatures with systems through which they produce the type of light they can make use of, and then maintains the continuation of these systems? It is not, of course, the creatures themselves. It is not possible for complex organs capable of producing light yet not harming the creatures of which they are part in the process to have come into being as the result of coincidences. All luminous creatures are evidence of the superior power of the creation of Allah. Allah introduces us, through these creatures He has created, to the evidence of His endless knowledge, wisdom and might.
Light-Producing Sea Dwellers
Many undersea creatures have systems, like fireflies, through which they can produce light. Generally, they use this ability in order to confuse or scare their enemies. Comb jellies are delicate creatures just like jellyfish and sea anemones. They generally feed on microscopic plants and tiny sea animals. Some catch their prey using their sticky tentacles which move in the water like fishing lines. Other varieties have very wide mouths that can swallow many creatures, including other comb jellies. Comb jellies have tiny hairs on their bodies which they use to move forward in the water. In addition, nearly all comb jellies have special light-producing cells along the seam-like ridges of their bodies. Some species have their own interesting characteristics. For example, the red comb jelly flashes when it is touched. At the same time it pours sparkling luminous particles into the water as a protective method to repel its enemies.12
Creatures like starfish, sea urchins, and featherstars are called "echinoderms." Most of the surface of their skins is covered with sharp spikes which they use for self-defense. They live on the seashore among coral reefs and on the sea bed. These creatures produce their own light to protect themselves from their enemies. They may have luminous arms or spines or be able to pour clouds of light into the water when attacked by a predator.
As seen above, the light-producing mechanisms of creatures, too, are examples of the magnificence in Allah's creation. Allah is the Originator, the Incomparable.
They say: "(Allah) hath begotten a son" :Glory be to Him.-Nay, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth: everything renders worship to Him. (Surah Al-Baqara, 116)
To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth: When He decreeth a matter, He saith to it: "Be," and it is. (Surah Al-Baqara, 117)
Design in Dolphins
For dolphins, breathing is not a reflex, as it is for humans and other land mammals, but rather a voluntary movement.14 In other words, dolphins decide to breathe like we decide to walk. There is also a precaution taken in order to prevent the animal's being drowned while sleeping in water. While sleeping, the dolphin uses the right and left hemisphere of his brain in turn, at approximately 15-minute intervals. While one cerebral hemisphere sleeps, the dolphin uses the other to come to the surface for air.
Dolphins breathe using their lungs just like other mammals, which means they cannot breathe in the water like fish. For this reason, they routinely come up to the water's surface to breathe. On the top of their heads is a hole enabling them to do just that. The bodies of dolphins have such a perfect design that, when it dives into the water, this hole is automatically closed by a cap, thus preventing water from leaking into the dolphin's body. When the animal comes up to the water's surface, the cap then reopens.
The snout of the dolphin's beak is another design facilitating the movements of the animal through water. By means of this structure, the animal uses less energy in cutting through the water and swimming at higher speeds. Modern ships, too, make use of a bow like the dolphin's snout, hydrodynamically designed to increase the speed of ships just like dolphins.
In addition, dolphins can swim at such great speeds that they dazzle scientists. There is a smooth flow of water around the bodies of dolphins. Research carried out on the skin of dolphins has discovered the reason for this flow. The skin of a dolphin consists of three layers. The outer layer is thin and very elastic. The middle layer is mostly composed of connective tissue and it has appendages looking like a plastic brush which anchor the outer layer to the middle layer. The third, inner, layer consists of bundles of elastic fibers. Therefore, when turbulence begins to form in the water around the speedily swimming dolphin, the outer skin transmits the extreme pressure caused by this turbulence to the inner layers and they absorb it. Thus, the turbulence that was beginning to develop disappears before it was able to grow.15
All of these structures, ones exclusive only to dolphins among all other animals, are clear evience of an intelligent design. Allah has created dolphins, like all other creatures, with their body structures in conformity with their surroundings.
An Interesting Undersea Creature: The Nudibranch
The nudibranch, a type of marine slug species lacking a shell, has a very interesting design and marvelous, bright colors. Their bodies are rather soft. Although they don't have a shell to protect themselves, and many creatures find their appearance attractive, only a few feed on nudibranches. This is because their striking colors warn predators that they are very poisonous.
One striking characteristic of this sea slug is that it has "stinging cells." By means of these "stinging cells," nudibranches easily protect themselves against their enemies. What is more interesting is that they don't produce these cells themselves. Nudibranches feed on creatures called hyroids that contain stinging cells. But they can eat these creatures' tentacles without triggering their stinging cells thanks to a special mucus in their digestive system. They store these weapons in frilly projections of their bodies. When disturbed the cells fire, thus stinging potential predators.16
Without a doubt, it is not possible for a nudibranch to know that hyroids are poisonous but will not harm them and will, on the contrary, provide them with protection against their enemies. It is also not possible for it to learn such a thing by experiencing it. How then did nudibranches discover this fascinating protective method?
At this point, a truth that reveals itself openly in the universe appears once again before us. The One Who inspired nudibranches to attract attention both with their pattern and color diversity, Who also supplied them with their methods to obtain poison, and created a system in their bodies by which to render the poison of hyroids ineffective, is Allah, the Lord of the entire universe. Allah creates all creatures with very different characteristics and in various colors. What befalls man who sees the infinite power of Allah in such examples is to glorify Allah and to practice good morals for the pleasure of Allah only. Allah informs us in His verses as follows:
And mankind and beasts and livestock are likewise of varying colors. Only those of His servants with knowledge have fear of Allah. Allah is Almighty, Ever-Forgiving. (Surah Fatir: 28)
12-Anita Ganeri, Creatures That Glow, Marshall Editions, London, 1995, p. 28.
13- Anita Ganeri, Creatures That Glow in The Dark, Marshall Editions dev., 1995, s. 16
14-Betty Mamane, “Le Surdoue du Grand Bleu,” Science et Vie Juniour, August 1998, pp.79-84.
18- Marco Ferrari, Colors for Survival, Barnes and Noble Books, New York, 1992, p.123.