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  • Writer's pictureCoastandCrownTravel

The Beautiful Bioluminescence Phenomenon

Bioluminescence is found in some fish, squid, algae, and other marine life. They produce bioluminescence to attract prey, lure mates or confuse predators.


Bioluminescence is an amazing phenomenon where the sea actually sparkles a neon blue, green, or red. It is definitely something to behold and a bucket list event.

There is a natural chemical process that causes living creatures to produce light in their body making the water appear to glow.

We are able to witness this natural phenomenon when there is a lot of bioluminescent creatures in the water, usually from algae blooms of plankton. When the waves break or water splashes, it makes the sea glow.

We are able to witness this natural phenomenon when there is a lot of bioluminescent creatures in the water, usually from algea blooms of plankton. When the waves break or water splashes, it makes the sea glow.

So, how do you find these phenomenons? Well, sea sparkles can occur anytime, anywhere because it is a natural event created by a variety of organisms. These glowing organisms are most common in warmer months. They are buoyant, meaning that they concentrate at the surface if undisturbed. During the day, you may see a soft pink haze on top of the water, but at night, in total darkness, you can see the bioluminescence most easily. So that means, look at the calendar and find a night where there is a new moon or small crescent moon so that there is as little light as possible. There is a beautiful beach in the northern section of the Yucatan Peninsula where you can find these magical creatures and gorgeous views!

Places you can see the bioluminescent phenomenon:

1. Isla Holbox, Mexico – this small island in the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula is a beautiful island where no cars are allowed. This helps to keep the island a pristine place for nature to thrive. There are two amazing places to stay here, great restaurants, and some pretty amazing street art.

2. Mudhdoo Island in the Maldives – The glow that forms here is different than many other places because the organisms glowing here causes the ocean to look like one big glowing spot instead of smaller, individual sections. The light lasts longer here too meaningthat you can see the lights as you walk along the shore.

3. Mosquito Bay in Vieques, Puerto Rico – The best way to view the phenomenon here is to go on a kayaking tour. The dinoflagellates emit light when they are shaken or disturbed.

4. Navarre Beach, Florida – When the plankton here moves in just the right way, you can find the glowing phenomenon. Here, fish moving through the waters can make it look as though comets are moving through the waters. Best viewing occurs from a kayak or boat in the water, but it can be seen from the beach.

5. Toyama Bay, Japan – This bioluminescent phenomenon is different because instead of being caused by plankton or algea, it is the firefly squid that brightens these seas. From March to June each year, these squid travel to Toyama Bay for breeding season. Once they breed, they go farther out into the ocean, only to return again the following year.

6. The Hawaiian Islands – Here you can find bobtail squids that have some bioluminescent bacteria found glowing on them. The best way to see these are to snorkel in the shallow waters along the coastline.

Some other places to experience bioluminescence is in New Zealand – the nematodes or glowworms that dangle in the caves there produce a blue-green light. Dismal Caverns in northern Alabama also has glowworms you can see during a night trip through the caverns. The Smoky Mountains have a spectacular “Firework” display of fireflies during the mating season there. Bermuda is home to fireworms that produce a very brief glowing effect as they release their sperm and eggs which emits a light flash briefly on the surface of the water before they retreat back to the bottom of the ocean. an.

Some other places to experience bioluminescence is in New Zealand – the neotodes or glowworms that dangle in the caves there produce a blue green light. Dismal Caverns in northern Alabama also has glowworms you can see during a night trip through the caverns. The Smoky Mountains have a spectacular “Firework” display of fireflies during mating season there. Bermuda is home to fireworms that produce a very brief glowing effect as they release their sperm and eggs which emits a light flash briefly on the surface of the water before they retreat back to the bottom of the ocean.

These are, of course, many other places you can experience this amazing phenomenon. If you're interested in trying to experience this, send me a message or give me a call. I'd love to help!

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