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…
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.
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.
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.
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.”