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Nature Travel

Bioluminescence

Yesterday I had the  most amazing experience ever!

I went kayacking at sunset on the Indian River in Cape Canaveral… saw plenty of manatees…saw the sun go down and the moon light up….I also saw plenty of lightning bolts on the horizon but what was unexpected was the bioluminescence phenomenon!!!

As darkness took over I started seeing a bright color appear in the water every time I moved my paddle…or with every drop of water falling from it…and then I started seeing fish zoom by in a flash of light! It was awesome!!! Some people dove in and produced amazing light shows…. I was content just swishing my hand in the water and watching the show going on around me.

Once back to my hotel I looked it up and here is what I found out: the word “bioluminescence”  comes from  two parts: “Bio” refers to a living thing while “luminescence” is an emission of light. Put together, we get living creatures that create and emit light! These creatures biologically produce an enzyme called luciferase as well as a pigment called luciferin. When the pigment combines with oxygen, it produces light, while the enzyme accelerates this chemical reaction. While we don’t often see bioluminescence on land, in exists in large numbers within the depths of the ocean. For example, many scuba divers know that waving their limbs about in the water during a dark night dive will cause scores of tiny plankton to light up all around them, as if by magic!
This is exactly what I discovered! An absolutely magical and awesome experience!!

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