In some oceans when the night is dark enough, you can see the waves glow as the water stirs. This is caused by phytoplankton called dinoflagellates. They give off a soft blue glow when disturbed. The chemicals they use are similar to the ones causing lightning bugs to glow.
When a person swims through the algae, the motion gives off a glow all around them, looking like angel's wings. Boats and wave action can also cause ripples of light to cascade in their wake. This video was taken at a dock in Australia where this algae is plentiful. People throw water on it to cause it to glow in amazing patterns.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Dinoflagellates: Bioluminescent Algae
Posted by NovaBlogger at 5:00 AM
Labels: Beautiful, Bioluminescence, Marine Life, Ocean, Phytoplankton, Plankton, Sea Life
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I'm linking to your site to send people to see your photos. I hope that is okay. Did you take the video of the water being thrown in? That's so cool!
Hi, Vivian. Thanks for checking out my blog. I visited yours as well and liked it a lot. I wish I could have seen the glowing sand in person like you did. I wish I was there to take that video but I have only seen bioluminescent algae once in person.
I saw this effect once off the deck of a cruise ship in the middle of the night while we were crossing the Sargasso Sea. As the ship broke the waves with its bow, you could see a faint shimmering glow each time a wave danced across the surface. They say cruises are magical but this part really made my vacation.
I did a science project with these algae!! I bought some from a website (Empco I think) and they came in a plastic container and light up when I shake them. Really cool stuff!
That's awesome, Vanessa! Now I want to order some bioluminescent algae too. I wonder if it would grow in a saltwater aquarium. If it didn't bother the fish, they would probably light it up as they swim. I bet your science fair project was amazing too. Did a lot of people like it?
anybody know..??how did bioluminesencent happen..???
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