National Park Service workers were using black lights to conduct a rat census (!) on Alcatraz last month when they accidentally discovered these strange glowing millipedes. From KQED QUEST:
"Millipede Mystery: A New Fluorescent Subspecies on Alcatraz?"
Some millipedes species are known to fluoresce under black light, but National Park Service officials say it is the first recorded evidence of such millipedes on Alcatraz. UC Davis entomologists are hard at work determining whether the millipede is a known subspecies of Xystocheir dissect (Wood) the species commonly found around San Francisco Bay.
Alcatraz Island is far enough from the mainland for a new species to evolve, though it would take millennia for that to happen. New subspecies or not, California is known for being the only place in the world with bioluminescent millipedes.
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.