Sunday, February 13, 2011

bioluminescence

photgrapher phil hart captured this incredible image of the gippsland lakes in victoria, australia in 2008.


the cause of the blue glow is bioluminescence: light produced by a chemical reaction which originates in an organism, and this case, it was an organism that lived in the lake for one summer only!

the whole, fascinating story is on his website, but i'll summarize here. fires and massive floods starting in 2006 caused nitrogen rich water with high salinity to concentrate in the gippsland lakes. after a summer of these conditions, a new species to the lake began to prosper, called noctiluca scintillans, or sea sparkle. whenever there is motion or agitation in the water, it glows more brightly!


what a strange and interesting world we live in!

2 comments:

skywatcher88 said...

Beautiful phenomena,and pics.
Makes one wonder if we in this universe are the bioluminescence of another!

Mahesh said...

New Species?? This resembles the florescent algae that I have seen grow both in fresh water lakes as well as sea, Luciferins and Luciferase are believed to be contributing to the phenomenon of bioluminescence.

Beautiful never the less, reminds me of overlooking the sea from seaside chalet in Malaysia few years ago. with all the florescence of the algae making the sea glitter in blue and green.