Natural phenomenon that makes sea water glow!

Natural phenomenon turns sea water an electric neon blue

It may look like an alien life-form has washed up on a beach, but this striking neon blue effect is a completely natural phenomenon.

The incredible image was taken by photographer Doug Perrine during a visit to Vaadhoo, one of the Raa Atoll islands in the Maldives. It captures a natural chemical reaction called bioluminescence, which occurs when a micro-organism in the water is disturbed by oxygen.

Although a rare sight on a shoreline, the phenomenon is more commonly seen at sea in the wake of ships that stir up the oxygen in the sea, which causes the bioluminescent bacteria to glow. Many undersea organisms ‘glow’, especially creatures that live at depths where light from the surface is less likely to penetrate.

The night-time glow is a side-effect of blooming red algae, known as red tide, which can turn entire beaches scarlet and murky during the day.

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63 thoughts on “Natural phenomenon that makes sea water glow!

    • you’ve seen yourself! wow that is amazing! lucky you : D
      Have you taken any pictures of it? I’m finding it really difficult to find any more pictures of this.

  1. This is gorgeous! My favourite memory of bioluminescence was from this summer, sailing in to harbour late at night, with our wake shimmering behind us.

  2. The photo is lovely – and reminds me of a night camping with a good friend on the West Coast of New Zealand. We swam in the bioluminescence – and woke in the night to see the towels we’d draped over our tent ropes glowing. Glorious – and so good to be prompted to remember – thank you!

  3. Pingback: Saijin’s Rainbow Connection : The Sabian Symbols Septenary for May 5th | Saijin's Rainbow Connection

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