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Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Things that Really Glow under a Black Light

By November 16, 2003

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I recently wrote up a list of Materials That Glow Under Black Light. Since that time, I've experimented with a black light myself. What did I learn? For one, I've confirmed that the materials in my list do glow. A notable exception was my fluorite (apparently the fluorite has to contain a particular impurity to glow). However, if want you to look at something really cool, check out a Lego that has fluorescent parts (such as this Bionicle, Turahk). These toys glow like a lightbulb and keep on glowing for a couple of seconds after the light is turned off. Other notable glowers: pipecleaners (chenille craft sticks) and weedeater twine. You get lightsaber action with those two materials! Many plastics glowed brightly and over a broad color range. The cheap little plastic balls used for cat toys were so neat I think the cat will never see them again. Do you have glowing items to add to my list? If so, please e-mail me and I'll check it out.


September 26, 2008 at 9:24 am
(1) Summer Cox says:

could send me an email about the stuff you need in order to complete this project?

November 20, 2008 at 9:46 am
(2) BioStudent says:

Dood. Your articles on fluorescent substances and materials really helped me with a paper for my Honors Biology class. Thanks a lot for your help! ;D

March 14, 2009 at 12:36 am
(3) rick says:

my science project was the best in class,i never knew so many common things glowed. my grade went up to honors!

October 4, 2009 at 4:41 pm
(4) ankita says:

hey i’m doing a science fair project about black lights and i don’t know what to research i’m totally lost does anybody know how to research science fair projects?

March 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm
(5) Iron Man says:

I don’t like your comment, research better buddie~

March 5, 2010 at 5:03 am
(6) juice willis says:

Urine, semen, and blood. I’ve provided the ingredients, you provide the awesome.

June 30, 2010 at 2:00 am
(7) Lyn says:

Dude, Australian stamps glow REALLY well. Awesome effect.

October 20, 2010 at 5:34 pm
(8) tls says:


October 31, 2010 at 11:38 pm
(9) Johnny says:

i recently found out that the ink in red pens glows orange under a blacklight, if you draw on yourself with one very darkly even after you wash it off completely your skin will still glow

December 19, 2010 at 1:26 pm
(10) brandon says:

Some jems glow under black lights, too.

December 25, 2010 at 4:51 pm
(11) Sharon says:

I don’t know where to get black light and need help. I really want to use glow in the dark matierials for my scirnce fair project but i have no black light.Do you know anything that glows just with no light?

January 17, 2011 at 11:49 am
(12) bob says:

Take any ciggerate & look at it. it might even make yu quit smoking

March 4, 2011 at 6:38 am
(13) Sarah says:

Here is a list of some of the fun things I found at home that glow under blacklight:

Talc powder
Fishing gear
Cotton buds
Olive oil
Fairy liquid
Rock salt
Tomato ketchup

May 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm
(14) LAURA says:

Do you remember what the Turmeric looked like under the black light? Color? florescent? Im doing research regarding what compounds look similar under blk light.

September 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm
(15) Harley quinn says:

Fruity Pebbles glow as well.

December 30, 2011 at 2:57 am
(16) Roseas says:

My nail polish glows because its flourescent orange but so does my clear coat (which turns white-ish blue under a black light.)

January 7, 2012 at 1:47 am
(17) Bea says:

Tennis Balls also glow

April 15, 2012 at 6:40 pm
(18) Daddyber says:

The fungus that causes “Athletes’ Foot” fluoresces bright orange.

August 29, 2012 at 10:42 pm
(19) kidzbkidz says:

Highlighters- yellow is BEST by far- blue is not so great!

August 23, 2013 at 10:07 am
(20) conventional representation of materials in section says:

Thank you for some other informative website. Where else may I get
that kind of info written in such an ideal method?
I have a undertaking that I am just now operating
on, and I’ve been on the glance out for such info.

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