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Quick Bytes: What is Bioluminescence and How Does it Work?

Is it magic or science? What actually makes the water off of the shores of Vaadhoo glow? Bioluminescence is famous for making sea shores mysteriously glow with a variety of colors. Let’s dive in (Get it? Dive in!) and see what causes one of the ocean’s most famous phenomenons.

 

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Hey, welcome to Quick Bytes, where we bring you tech, science, and entertainment news quick, fast, and swiftly. My name is Evan, let’s dive in!

And speaking of diving in, you guys have to check out this beach in the Maldives. Y’know, beach…dive… [crickets]

Believe it or not, this isn’t photoshopped, the water here actually glows in the dark, mimicking the stars in the sky.

This beach on the tiny island known as Vaadhoo is one of the few places on Earth where you can witness this incredible phenomenon. But what exactly is it?

The water is filled with a marine microorganisms known as phytoplankton that produce a chemical called luciferin, which, when mixed with oxygen, gives off a blue luminescence.

Although this makes the water seem peaceful, it’s actually a stress response from the phytoplankton. Its purpose is to try and startle and scare away predators.

As the phytoplankton float on the shores of Vaadhoo, movement from the water sends electrical impulses through them which causes the release of luciferin, which, when mixed with oxygen, creates the light blue glow.

If fish do eat the phytoplankton, it will continue to glow inside of them, making them more susceptible to predators.

If you wish to witness this magical sight in real life, Vaadhoo Island is just a 15 minute boat ride away from the main international airport of Malé.

What other magical pieces of nature are out there in the world? Let us know in the comments below.

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April 24, 2019
By I&T Today
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