Shipwreck With Tiger

In the Maldives I saw ocean bioluminescence for the first time “in real life.”

It was nothing like the swirling ocean of blue that the character experiences in Life of Pi. It was nothing like the endless sandy shores of blue-green illumination, bright enough to read by.

We stayed awake into the wee hours of the morning, walking the perimeter of the small island, hoping for a moment out of NatGeo, one of those scenes where the whole shore is covered in magic.

We did not see the large swaths covering ocean and beach, where people leaving glowing foot trails, or write things like “Marla and Kurt, Maldives 2015.”

Then, we finally saw bioluminescence…

Okay, we saw a dot. One, single dot of glowing plankton…

travel Maldives
A single dot of glowing plankton, bioluminescence, on Kandooma Island in the Maldives

Tiny, glowing dots here and there. Never enough to write our names, and maybe that’s just as well. Each time a foot walks through the glowing blooms, each time a name is written, all those plankton die. It’s like smashing fireflies into your t-shirt as a child. One beautiful, dying glow, and then nothing.

travel Maldives
The most we saw were a few dots strung together

It was incredible to see, even though only in dots. I’ve read that there are occurrences of bioluminescene along the Indian Ocean shores of South Africa, so I hope to travel there while we’re here, and maybe see more than a few dots.

In the meantime, I wanted to just share our little flicker of glowing plankton, as well as this photo from a wonderful guy called Maantey, who we met while on Kandooma Island, in the Maldives. As you can see, bioluminescence does occur where we stayed, but our timing just didn’t give us a chance to see it.

travel where to find bioluminescence
Bioluminescence as seen by Maantey, on the island of Kandooma, Maldives

Have you seen glowing plankton? Do you have a recommendation on where I should travel to see it? I’d love to hear your suggestions.

Love, MarLa

P.S. I’m leaving you with the title of today’s post. In looking for the glowing plankton scene from Life of Pi to share with you, I came across it in YouTube, in its German title, Schiffbruch mit Tiger, “Shipwreck with Tiger.”


2 thoughts on “Shipwreck With Tiger

  1. Awesome, sis! I do love those little glowie thingies in all their forms. often go out at night to find glow worms or glow wood (luminescent fungi in and on the wood actually) foxfire in all forms remind me of being a young boy and pappap taking me out onto the deep woods at night to teach me not to be afraid! I’ll never forget the first time he broke open an old rotten log to reveal the fire!! Truly a life moment I’ll never forget! Hope to have an experience like that again with my own grandchildren someday!

    1. Thanks for sharing that. I had a couple sentences about foxfire, but since I didn’t have a first-person story (always wanted to see it but haven’t yet) I decided to take it out. That’s really beautiful. You’re so lucky to have had that experience!

Comments are closed.