Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism. Many animals can perform this action, but this light can clearly be seen in the ocean, by marine animals and small organisms. Some of these organisms light up whenever the water around them moves, causing the ocean shores to light up in a really cool way. There are many places around the world to see this amazing light show, and here are just a few.

Why Beaches Glow

Most likely, the reason behind these shiny beaches is the algae called Noctiluca scintillans or sea flickers. These bioluminescent (Bio is “alive” and luminescent “emits lights”) and luminous planktons immediately float below the surface of the water and glow brightly when disturbed or distracted by predators.

1. Mudhdhoo Island

Mudhdhoo, is an island in the Baa Atoll in the Maldives. This is the location of Dusit Thani Maldives, a resort hotel of the Dusit Thani group. Mudhdhoo Island is an attractive island resort on the territory of the Baa Atoll, separated from Hulele airport by about 35 minutes of seaplane flight or 10 minutes by boat. Mudhdhoo Island is an excellent choice for those who appreciate a holiday in an ecological and at the same time romantic atmosphere with maximum comfort. 

  • The size of the island is only 700 on 400 m, which makes it a small and most attractive paradise for honeymooners and romantic couples.
  • The island is surrounded by a circular ring of picturesque reef with extensive marine fauna.
  • No less impressive resort and white sandy coast against the contrasting azure waters of the lagoon and a thick emerald necklace of coconut trees.

When to Go: Maldives – is an equatorial country with a tropical climate, where the weather is always warm at + 27-30ºС. But the islands have some seasonal features. From mid-April to the end of October it often rains here. The dry season lasts from November till April. At this time, the initially clear sea becomes completely transparent, and the sun illuminates in the sky 12 hours a day.

2. Mosquito Bay, Puerto Rico

Mosquito Bay is located on the southern shore of the island of Vieques, one of the islands of Puerto Rico.  This bay is often referred to as “magical”, those blessed with the opportunity to experience it always agree.  The bioluminescent bay in Vieques was officially declared the brightest in the world by Guinness Book of World Records in 2008.  Hurricane Maria caused much destruction on the island, it sadly disrupted the delicate balance of the bay, the beloved Mosquito Bay went dark.  To everyone’s surprise the bioluminescent bay not only recovered, but it is also brighter than it ever was in the past. The light in Mosquito Bay is created by tiny organisms called dinoflagellates (specifically Pyrodimium bahamense or “swirling fire”). Mosquito Bay, also known as Bahía Bioluminiscente, contains an astonishing number—roughly 700,000 per gallon of water. The microscopic organisms make light upon sensing any movement in the water, swirling out bright blue-green plumes that eventually diffuse back into the dark stillness of the Bay. Their bioluminescence is thought to be a defense mechanism—the light attracts larger fish that can ward off the small fish who feed on dinoflagellates.

Know Before You Go

Mosquito Bay is called Mosquito Bay for a reason, but don’t wear bug spray with DEET to visit, as it kills the bioluminescent organisms. You may itch for the next couple days, but it’s more than worth it.

3. Luminous Lagoon, Jamaica

The Luminous Lagoon stretches along the marshlands of Trelawny from the small community of Rock to the town of Falmouth. Located at the eminent point where the Martha Brae River meets the Caribbean Sea, the lagoon housed a wharf where large vessels from England unloaded goods onto smaller ships to be delivered inland up the river. It was the single best place to observe and study microorganisms called dinoflagellates, which thrive in the layers where salt and fresh water combine and glow the brightest in shallow, warm water. Being home to millions of dinoflagellates. At night, the lagoon sparkles and glistens when disturbed, as these microscopic organisms produce an eerie glow, reflecting the outlines of fish and other objects in the water. Luminous Lagoon is said to be the largest and most brilliant of four in the world, a fact that continually attracts and awes visitors and scientists from around the world. The lagoon and bay is about 3-8 feet, or more, in depth. It’s relatively shallow for the area it covers. Those who wish can enjoy a swim in the lagoon during the boat tour.

4. Halong Bay, Vietnam

  • area: 1,553 km²
  • elevation: 100 m

Halong Bay is a beautiful natural wonder in northern Vietnam near the Chinese border. The Bay is dotted with 1,600 limestone islands and islets and covers an area of over 1,500 sqkm. This extraordinary area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. For many tourists, this place is like something right out of a movie. The fact is that Halong Bay features a wide range of biodiversity, while the surrealistic scenery has indeed featured in endless movies.  There is a substantial population along the coastline that relies on the bay for shipping and fishing. Tourism is also a significant industry, with some visitors eager to catch a glimpse of the legendary Tarasque. There are two similar legends about the origin of the bay, which is reflected in its name. The first legend states that a dragon trampled the earth with such force that the mountains collapsed, forming great valleys which soon filled with water; only the peaks of the mountains – now the rocky islands of Ha Long Bay – remained above the surface. Alternative folklore tells the story of a dragon whose large tail tore through the earth, creating valleys and crevices that were inundated when the beast jumped into the water nearby. Both versions lend themselves to the modern legend of Tarasque, a dragon-like sea creature that inhabits the bay.



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