Science, Tech, Math › Science Why Does Urine Glow Under a Black Light? Element in Urine That Glows Share Flipboard Email Print Urine glows when exposed to black or ultraviolet light. WIN-Initiative / Getty Images Science Chemistry Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated September 27, 2017 You can use a black light to detect body fluids. It's actually a good way to look for pet urine or make sure a bathroom or hotel room is really clean. Cat urine, in particular, glows very brightly under ultraviolet light. Urine glows under a black light primarily because it contains the element phosphorus. Phosphorus glows yellowish green in the presence of oxygen, with or without black light, but the light imparts additional energy that make the chemiluminescence easier to see. Urine also contains broken down blood proteins that glow under a black light.