Swimming in a Sea of Fairy Dust


 

bioAt nightfall, standing on the shore at Los Naranjos beach in Baja Concepcion, I noticed that the gently lapping waves seemed to be sparkling. Upon agitating the water with my hand there were even more sparkles. Absolutely magical this is the famed bioluminescence produced by the flagellate plankton who when agitated glow bright green as a way of scaring predators. In large accumulations, they produce “phosphorescent seas” in which crests of waves, surf, and waters around boats and swimming organisms glow electric blue. In the deep sea, where there is no sunlight, more than 90% of the animals are luminescent. Bioluminescence serves a number of important functions other than scaring predators such as prey attraction, illumination of prey, mate attraction, and predator avoidance. It also serves the purpose of making you feel like you are swimming in a sea of fairy dust. Now where are those kayaks…add to del.icio.usDigg itStumble It!Add to Blinkslistadd to furladd to ma.gnoliaadd to simpyseed the vineTailRank

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