See the World's Only Edible Bioluminescent Species

Fishermen trawl a net containing a large number of glowing firefly squid in central Japan.
Fishermen trawl a net containing a large number of glowing firefly squid in central Japan.
NORIAKI SASAKI/AFP/Getty Images

The firefly squid, or Watasenia scintillans, is the only commonly edible bioluminescent creature in the world. In Japan, the species is famous for the light show it puts on along the coast when it spawns each spring. That's when the fishermen of Toyama Bay, in central Japan, go out in the dead of night to harvest the squid by the bucketful. The fruits of their labors end up salted, grilled, boiled, or served raw in restaurants around the country. You can learn more about the firefly squid, and their harvest, in the video from Great Big Story below:

100 Words Turning 100 This Year

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YouTube

In 1919, just a few months after World War I came to an end, the phrase World War 2 made its debut. The Oxford English Dictionary described it as "a reference to an imagined future war arising out of the social upheaval consequent upon the First World War." Twenty years later, the event wouldn't seem so imaginary.

Join editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy as she journeys into the past to dig up a whopping 100 words that are turning 100 this year in our all-new Mental Floss List Show. Whip out your OED and read along as you check out the full episode below.

For more episodes like this one, be sure to subscribe here!

19 Common Things Science Hasn’t Figured Out

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YouTube

Whether we want to admit it or not, everyone cries. And while experience has taught us that it's a seemingly natural reaction to being either incredibly sad or incredibly happy, scientists have yet to figure out exactly why that salty discharge pours from our eye sockets when we're feeling emotional. It could be a way to bond with our fellow humans, or a way to alert someone else that something is amiss. But these are all just guesses, as weeping is just one of many everyday behaviors the world's smartest brains still haven't quite cracked the code on yet.

Join editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy as she digs into the science—or lack thereof—of 19 seemingly normal things we do that are a mystery to scientists (you can add sleeping, laughing, and hiccuping to that list, too) with the first edition of our all-new Mental Floss List Show. There's a fancy new set, a fancy new host, and plenty of mind-boggling topics we'll be discussing. So put on your smartypants and check out the full episode below.

For more episodes like this one, be sure to subscribe here!

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