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Our Blue Planet

Bioluminescence: what is it and where can you find it?

It is the production and emission of light – caused by a chemical reaction – within a living organism.

This natural glow is found in more than 70% of marine species like fish, bacteria, jellyfish, squid, sea stars, plankton and algae.

If you want to see a magical underwater light show of millions of dinoflagellates (type of plankton), take a dive into the waters of Luminous Lagoon in Jamaica.

You could also see this natural phenomenon from the beach or when kayaking under a midnight sky.

  • glow-in-the-dark-waves at Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives (from June till October)
  • book a kayak trip and paddle into Mosquito Bay on Vieques Island in Puerto Rico
  • sea sparkle at the beach of Zeebrugge (Bruges at sea) located at the North Sea in Belgium

Photo by Kevin Wolf on Unsplash

Most marine bioluminescence is expressed in blue and green colors.

Some bioluminescence can be found on land as well – best known are fireflies, glowworms & fungi.

Most land organisms glow in blue & green but some shimmer in the yellow light spectrum as well.

You can spot fireflies in various warm, humid areas in the world.  These lightning bugs sparkle like tiny twinkling stars and create a fairytale landscape at night. 

Best chance to see them is end of Spring – early Summer.

The Great Smoky Mountains is one of the best places in the world to admire this spectacle.

Photo by Monika – Pixabay

The microorganisms which are turning the ceilings of caves into starry skies, are the glowworms.

You can spot these glowing creatures in wet, damp caves – away from direct sunlight – in multiple destinations worldwide but Australia & New Zealand are best known for these viewings.

Photo by Nicole Geri on Unsplash

If you are lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time… enjoy the magic &

Good luck with capturing the sparkles!

Ventures by Sabrina



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