A Magical Experience

Posted on March 26, 2012


Over the weekend, I got to experience a natural beauty and wonder.  Went with some friends to the coast and camped on the beach.  We sat around the campfire and talked.  I had noticed the waves looked rather bright, but I figured the caps were reflecting off the moon (not realizing at the time that there was barely a moon).  My friend got up to walk her dog and a minute later comes running back, excitedly.  She told us that the glowing water was back and we had to check it out.  So we hurriedly got up and ran seaside.  Sure enough, the waves that were coming in were glowing and every time we took a step, we made blue stars appear beneath our feet.  Red tide was coming in and we got to witness the bioluminescent algae, first hand.  We kicked at the water and ran through it.  It twinkled with every step.  We walked out into the water and the dog played in it, trying to bite at all the brightness coming at her.  She glowed.

There just to happens to be a recently written article about it here. This is how they explain it:

tiny phytoplankton, microbes washed ashore by the tides, turning their chemical energy into light energy. The process is ancient, natural and found around the world. If you’ve never seen it (and please let us know if you have), it’s most easily observed on nice, warm beaches after dark.

“When jostled, each organism will give off a flash of blue light created by a chemical reaction within the cell,” wrote Peter Franks, a biologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, on the blog Deep-Sea News. “When billions and billions of cells are jostled — say, by a breaking wave — you get a seriously spectacular flash of light.”

If you’ve never heard of this phenomenon and am wondering what I’m talking about (or even if you have, it’s still awesome), check out this video for an example.  It’s gorgeous.

We enjoyed it so much, we stayed longer than originally planned, just to witness the blue waves and stars beneath out feet one more night.  I am so glad I got to witness such amazing thing firsthand.  The natural art in these phosphorescent living things is truly representative of the One who created them as the master artist.  Simply magnificent. ♥

Posted in: adventure, Life