Featured Image Credit: Will Ho
By: Laura O’Brien
A Taiwanese photographer named Will Ho captured a magical display on Maldives beach. The photographer stumbled upon what he believed to be “blue sand” illuminated in the dark water near the shore.
The “blue sand” Will found is actually bioluminescent phytoplankton; this type is Lingulodinium polyedrum. Phytoplankton feed off of the sun’s energy and bioluminescent creatures emit light through biochemical processes. The beautiful blue glow of the phytoplankton covered the beach because of the large population that had washed up there.
Lingulodinium polyedrum glow when they are stressed. That is why their blue color is most visible where waves have broken and in the prints of Will’s flip flops.
Despite the known science behind Will’s gorgeous photos, the beach looks captivatingly surreal; even otherworldly. We’re certainly glad that someone was able to capture such a gorgeous natural phenomenon and share it with us!
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