These supernatural-looking tubes are the brainchild of French biochemist Pierre Calleja, whose work with microorganisms led him to corralling microalgae in a see-through habitat to use as a lamp. The algae — half plant, half animal — can thrive inside the tube, using photosynthesis to emit a green glowing light and consuming carbon dioxide along the way.
Calleja and his team at Fermentalg designed the lamps to store energy created in the photosynthesizing process to use later on in dark and low-light settings. The team hopes their microalgae lamps can be purposed as eco-friendly streetlamps, indoor lighting, or even notoriously dim underground parking garages. Calleja further explains:
The idea is to share the light with the microalgae. The light that comes from that lamp is very special, in fact; it’s a very soft light, because it goes through a live animal.
Check out the lamp in action below: