Jalap
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Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:25 pm

Have you ever spotted "sea sparkle"?

Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:06 pm

Sea sparkle is a bioluminescent kind of alga.
If present, it flashes light in the sea when disturbed. They make waves light up, or light up your footsteps when walking in wet sand.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noctiluca_scintillans

I read about this some time ago and to my total surprise, these algae can appear at the coast of Belgium and Holland. Although I had been there very often (sea only an hour drive away), I had never seen this or even heard somebody mention it.

So I started studying under what conditions they could be present (hot, sunny day with very little wind - plus only after dusk and without moonlight).

This summer had quite a few of those days. I went up to the coast in July and it was there! The waves flashing green light, sea lighting up green when walking, splashing, swimming in it.
I went again end of august, it was there again. Not as bright as first time, but at that location it was mostly the wet sand lighting up when walking over it.

This really is something exceptional nature has to offer and I don't understand so few people ever heard of it. Apparently they can show up on many locations in the world. And colour could be green, blue or red.

So I wonder: how many of you have ever seen this, or heard of it?

Here's a video where it's very bright: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bykOQj2zLpE
This one shows more or less how I saw it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0NzEtA8v0M

Image
 
VSMUT
Posts: 2911
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Have you ever spotted "sea sparkle"?

Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:08 pm

Yes, loads of times, but only while sailing.
 
tommy1808
Posts: 10800
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:24 pm

Re: Have you ever spotted "sea sparkle"?

Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:46 pm

Yup... in Holland no less....

Best regards
Thomas
This Singature is a safe space......
 
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einsteinboricua
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Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:11 pm

Re: Have you ever spotted "sea sparkle"?

Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:31 pm

Puerto Rico has two bays that are bioluminescent. Sailing through the water leaves a neon color. I was able to go to the one in the southwest area of the island, though officials have said that the area hasn't fully recovered from hurricanes that struck the area years ago. It's also an open bay so water circulates. The best bay to go to is Mosquito Bay in Vieques island. That one is pretty undisturbed and even with Maria, the bioluminescence has remained intact. The bay has a narrow opening so water doesn't circulate as freely, meaning the dinoflagellate (i.e. sea sparkle microorganisms) remain in the area.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
T4thH
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:17 pm

Re: Have you ever spotted "sea sparkle"?

Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:23 pm

During night diving in the Mediterranean sea at a shipwreck. This was the best dive of all in my live.
 
drew777
Posts: 169
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:34 pm

Re: Have you ever spotted "sea sparkle"?

Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:44 pm

einsteinboricua wrote:
The best bay to go to is Mosquito Bay in Vieques island. That one is pretty undisturbed and even with Maria, the bioluminescence has remained intact.


I'm glad to hear that. We did a night time kayak trip in Mosquito Bay in 2016. I was afraid Maria screwed it up. Do you know if Vieques is mostly recovered from the storm?

I've also seen bio-luminescence on several night dives by turning off your light and moving your hands fast in the water. You can also see them on the beach if the conditions are right.

Edit to add: The Cape Air flight to Vieques if pretty neat. If they ever put the Eviation Alice electric plane on the route I will definitely be back!

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