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Scallops love disco lights, according to science

Scientists have accidentally discovered that scallops love disco lights, after setting up “potlights” to attract crabs and lobsters.

Researchers have found a new means of catching scallops that doesn’t do any damage to the seabed. The answer? LED “disco” lights.

Marine scientist Dr. Rob Enever was attempting to catch crabs and lobsters in a cage using “potlights” to attract the crustaceans, but instead, he ended up catching a whole lot of scallops.

Scallops disco
Credit: Getty Images/Futurism

“It’s like a scallop disco – illuminate the trap and they come in,” Enever told The Guardian. “It’s astonishing that no one else has discovered this before. It’s quite an exciting find. This has the potential to open up a whole new inshore fishery and that’s a global first.”

Apart from being the most fun news you’ll hear all day, the discovery could also help to protect seabeds from damage caused by fishing.

Scallops are usually caught using a method dubbed “dredging,” which involves dragging a giant net across the sea floor, destroying ocean habitats and harming sea life.

Another researcher involved in the experiment, Jon Ashworth said: “Pretty much every pot that we hauled had scallops in them and yet every haul without lights had no scallops. It was conclusive, there and then. To have proof that lights can be used to catch scallops has got to have some awesome implications looking forward.”

According to Univeristy of York marine ecologist Dr Bryce Stewart, the discovery is “one of the most exciting things I have come across in my whole career”.

“Most animals, including us, have lenses but scallops don’t. They have mirrors at the back of their eyes and they also have two retinas, one which senses darker things, one that senses lighter things, so they can possibly use that contrast to sense movement,” he continued.

“Perhaps they prefer illuminated areas because they provide safety from predators or because it’s easier to find the plankton they eat.”

Next they should try playing Donna Summer albums and see how many more scallops they catch.