Human hands glow in the dark, and our fingernails produce the most light. In fact, most living things release light. If our eyes were sensitive enough, we would be able to see other people glowing in the dark. If we could see this light with our naked eyes (which we can’t), we might see that we leave a short-lived light trail of footprints wherever we go. Being able to follow this would be a wonderful forensic tool for chasing bad guys. Being able to “read” a person’s glow could also be an effective, non-invasive way to diagnose disease.

Jennifer Viegas writes in Discovery News that most living things, including plants, are light sources, and illness affects how much we shine. Not only our hands, but our foreheads and the bottoms of our feet emit photons, which are tiny particles of light. This may be the science behind shamanic healing, which often includes placing hands on the body.

Human hands glow, but fingernails release the most light, according to a recent study that found all parts of the hand emit detectable levels of light. If we’re sick or dying, we’re also literally dimming.

Most living things, including plants, release light. Although many animals can smell us, this may be another way that they see us?and avoid us?when we’re outside at night.

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