Bioluminescent Beaches

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According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), bioluminescence is “the production and emission of light by a living organism. The light emitted by a bioluminescent organism is produced by energy released from chemical reactions occurring inside (or ejected by) the organism.”

Phytoplankton are one of the organisms that do this. Phytoplankton have protons that pass through their bodies. The movement of water causes the protons to shift which creates an electrical pulse. In turn, a chemical reaction occurs and creates light.  There are beaches across the world that are filled with these neon glowing phytoplankton. These bioluminescent beaches are accessible to the public and the opportunity to see this phenomena is one-of-a-kind.

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Mission Bay, United States

Located in California, Mission Bay is not only an explosion of color at night but also during the day. During the day, the waves turn red, while the neon blue lights up the night.

Luminous Lagoon, Jamaica

The Luminous Lagoon can be found in Trelawny, Jamaica. It is a hot spot for tourists as the bioluminescence is prevalent many times of the year. Movement causes the algae to light up. Therefore, waves and marine life are followed with a glowing trail.

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Halong Bay, Vietnam

Like the Luminous Lagoon, Halong Boy has bioluminescence that is highly activated from movement. However, these waters are very accessible for swimming. Therefore, you can swim in the waters and have a stream of neon glow follow you closely behind.

Pandangbai Port, Bali

Pandangbai Port has unique bioluminescence as most of it takes places below the surface. However, the port is open to swimmers. Therefore, snorkeling amongst the vibrant organisms is allowed and encouraged. The more an organism is disturbed, the more it will glow. (But, swimming normally will do the trick)

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Mudhdhoo Island, Maldives

The Maldives also has a unique bioluminescence as it looks as though more organisms glow individually rather than as a large group. The separate glows makes the water seem more like the sky, with stars shining throughout. These organisms emit light for longer than the other beaches.


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