We couldn’t quite belive our eyes the other night when we were out photographing the stars from the beach. The sea appeared to Sparkle and glow, thought it was maybe reflection of the stars on thewaves but we had never seen aything like it before. Last night it was darker, and the blue sparkles were back, and bright! Quite amazing to watch, after some googling I think the cause of this Blue Sea Sparkle is “Noctiluca scintillans” Wiki introduces it as:

Noctiluca scintillans, commonly known as the Sea Sparkle[1], and also published as Noctiluca miliaris, is a free-living non-parasitic marine-dwelling species of dinoflagellate that exhibits bioluminescence. The bioluminescent characteristic of N. scintillans is produced by a luciferin-luciferase system located in thousands of spherically shaped organelles, or “microsources”, located throughout the cytoplasm of this single-celled protist. Nonluminescent populations within the genus Noctiluca lack these microsources.


Sea Sparkle

Sea Sparkle


Blue Sea Sparkle - Bioluminescent dinoflagellates

Blue Sea Sparkle – Bioluminescent dinoflagellates

I’ll add more photos when I work how to to take sharper ones in such low light, its very hard to get the right balance with the street light pollution from the mainland!

Originally posted 2012-08-19 18:38:03.