Concede, humanity: these tiny organisms that live underwater in low-light conditions seem to have outsmarted us. They have mastered the quantum world we are struggling to understand.

We have known for some time that photosynthetic organisms harness the power of quantum coherence, but researchers in Australia have recently discovered that some cryptophytes, which are a type of algae, have developed a genetic switch that allows them to turn the "quantumness" in their photosynthetic processes on and off. Studying the differences between the types of cryptophytes that are using quantum mechanics to photosynthesize and the ones that aren't could yield new and invaluable insights into exactly what role quantum coherence is playing in the process that sustains all life on Earth. Go phytoplankton.