What is Bioluminescence?
Even though human imagination has created some of the most mesmerizing creations in the world, we cannot top what Mother Nature has done. The world is full creatures that leave us in awe whenever we see them and nothing is more mesmerizing than the bioluminescent plankton.
Planktons are any sea drifting organisms inhabiting the oceans. They can be animals or plants and they are a vital source of food for large animals, especially sea mammals. They thus play an important role in the marine food chain. Bioluminescent plankton are plankton that produce light at night yielding an unmistakable glow.
The Glow Producing Process
The glow is produced during a high-stress situation. Scientists have reckoned that the glow is produced as a defensive maneuver, during which the light is intended to disorient the predator or attract other large predators that pose a threat to the plankton’s predator. It is, however, difficult to precisely determine the exact function of the glow owing to the wide variety of marine flora and fauna that glow.
The process of producing the glow involves chemicals known as luciferins. However, a catalyst, which is known as luciferase, initiates the oxidation process that results to the glow in plankton. The biochemical process results in cold light produced with little heat emission. Approximately only 20% of the Bioluminescent Plankton is produced as a result of heat.
The Best Places To See Bioluminescent Plankton
Unfortunately, not all beaches around the world contain these planktons. For starters, plankton thrive in warm climates, thus restricting their presence in the areas that have warm climates. However, even in the warm climate, bioluminescent plankton presence is never guaranteed.
Among the best places to view glowing plankton, include the Australia, the Maldives, Vietnam, Thailand, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Los Angeles. The Maldives is probably the surest destination for glowing plankton sighting.