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So my company just changed offices recently and for some odd reason or another the server room in the new building has a black light which was installed by the previous tenants. Aside from the oddity of this arrangement, it's interesting to see things that glow in the dark under this sort of light (like the logo on my Visa card having a secret 'V' and the American Express Blue Cash having an 'AMEX' on the transparent plastic).

Anyway. Most of the bills in my wallet tend to be $20s or $10s, and the black light reveals the security strip, while the rest of the bill remains dark. However, I have one lone $5, claiming to be from Series 2006, and the entire bill glows. Is this normal, or might it be a sign of counterfeiting? The rest of the bill certainly doesn't show any obvious signs of being illegitimate... mmmmaybe the paper texture might be a little different? but that could also just be psychosomatic; I certainly didn't notice it before.

edit got a photo (note the other $5 barely visible in the background with a security stripe, but it doesn't claim to be Series 2006).

enter image description here

  • Maybe its bloody?:) – littleadv Oct 18 '12 at 0:04
  • How many fiver's did you check? Also, blood money. Or cocaine. I hear lots of bills have cocaine on them. I refuse to check snopes on the likely chance it isn't real. – MrChrister Oct 18 '12 at 1:26
  • I've got a photo of two $5's above now, but only one of them is labeled Series 2006. – user296 Oct 18 '12 at 22:57
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    Apparently many laundry detergents can make items glow (chemistry.about.com/cs/howthingswork/f/blblacklight.htm). I'm guessing it went through the laundry. Blood can make it glow but that would mean the whole bill was covered with blood...possible, but highly unlikely I think. Strange either way. – Muro Oct 19 '12 at 20:23
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This is a case of money-laundering, not forgery. Many laundry detergents include a dye that glows under ultra-violet light.

  • Hahahaha, awesome. – ChrisInEdmonton Oct 22 '12 at 14:18
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    "money-laundering"... ha! I should downvote you for that but I won't :P – user296 Oct 22 '12 at 16:46

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