US Stamps

Molly Goad

Bioluminescent life stamps' first-day ceremony

February 23, 2018 04:30 PM

  • New Bioluminescent Life stamps were unveiled during their Feb. 22 first-day ceremony at Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce, FL. Photos by Daniel Afzal, U.S. Postal Service.
  • Public radio’s Jill Roberts served as the master of ceremonies of the event. Roberts is the news director at Fort Pierce, FL’s WQCS, a member of National Public Radio and Florida Public Broadcasting Service. Photos by Daniel Afzal, U.S. Postal Service.
  • USPS's Jeffrey C. Williamson spoke before the unveiling. Photos by Daniel Afzal, U.S. Postal Service.
  • Pictured left to right: Jeffrey C. Williamson, chief human resources officer and executive vice president, USPS; Jill Roberts, news director, WQCS Public Radio; Dr. Edith Widder, CEO and senior scientist, Ocean Research & Conservation Association; and Taylor F. Lockwood, stamp photographer. Photos by Daniel Afzal, U.S. Postal Service.
  • Dr. Edith Widder, an ocean research scientist who contributed seven of the images that appear on the stamps, participated in the ceremony. Photos by Daniel Afzal, U.S. Postal Service.
  • This pictorial first-day postmark is used to postmark the majority of submitted collector-prepared covers. Photos by Daniel Afzal, U.S. Postal Service.

By Molly Goad

The United States forever stamp set celebrating bioluminescent life was officially unveiled Feb. 22 at the Sunrise Theater in historic downtown Fort Pierce, FL.

The event was emceed by Jill Roberts, WQCS Public Radio's news director, and USPS chief human resources officer and executive vice president Jeffrey C. Williamson was tasked with introducing these beautiful stamps at the presentation.

Williamson said the stamps were issued “to celebrate the amazing species that generate their own light — one of the most thrilling displays in our nature ... The 10 images in this series were made possible thanks to the advances in deep ocean exploration and new photographic techniques that could fully capture these incredible glowing creates.”

Dr. Edith Widder, CEO and senior scientist at the Ocean Research & Conservation Association (ORCA), photographed seven of the species featured on the stamps. Dr. Widder has appeared on Ted Talks, PBS, The Discovery Channel and more, and spoke at length at the event about these amazing creatures. 

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Dr. Widder said many misconceptions about bioluminescent life exist, one being the idea that their light is too dim to see. To disprove this notion, she brought living bioluminescence with her and — after the lights were turned off — she gently swirled the glass container until the water glowed a bright blue.

Stamp photographer Taylor Lockwood was also in attendance. Lockwood photographed the cluster of mushrooms (Mycena lucentipes) featured on one of the 10 stamps.

The nondenominated (50¢) forever stamps were issued in a pane of 20. For more information on the stamp set, click here.