One of the main reasons why Maldives are considered one of the best summer destinations is the fact that its beaches glow at night.
If you’re wondering why does Maldives beach glow at night, the answer is bioluminescence. Bioluminescence is when seas gain a bluish glowing during the night. This illumination comes from one living organism – no tricks or extraterrestrial technologies. However, not all beaches have this, just a few. There’s a beach in the Maldives, as well as in Jamaica, San Diego, Vietnam, Australia and also Thailand.
Maldives’ Bioluminescent Phenomenon Explained
Just like we said before, various types of plankton light up when experiencing discomfort. During adversities, planktons swim around – that’s when glowing appears.
Glowing is technically the way they defend themselves. With this, they shock and confuse their hunters, and also they appeal to other dangerous organisms to whatever wants to prey on the plankton.
Glowing comes from luciferin – a chemical producing the light. Every living body can glow in some manner. A few have their own luciferin, but some have to consume an organism for that. Nevertheless, the experience is unique and breathtaking, making the Maldives out of the ordinary.
Within the Maldives, this phenomenon is happening on a beach called the Vaadho or Madhdoo Island. The sea planktons are the ones causing the bioluminescence. Sea planktons glowing is visible during the night, making the sea seem to emanate light.
The water is full or microorganism and microbes that can produce a dynamic blue glow – so the body of water gains a heavenly aspect, simply stunning. Due to this, lots of people visit the Maldives to witness the beach during this phenomenon.
Vaadhoo Island – One of the Best Maldives Beaches that Glow at Night
There are lots of islands in the Maldives and that includes Raa Atoll. Vaadhoo Island’s one of the many. In spite of its dimensions, with no more than 500 people living on it, it had gathered fame all over the world for these blue lights.
It gained the nickname “Sea of Stars” due to this bluish light. Previously, this beach was not this popular since it was thought of as a classified thing of the island. However, since everybody found out about this, tourists visit this place to be stunned by the amazing scenery.
Traveling to Vaadhoo Island
It is easy to get to this place. The capital city of the Maldives is Male – only 8 km from Vaadhoo Island. Male contains an international airport, as you would expect from a capital city.
Therefore the easiest method to get to the island is to land in the capital and then take a boat – the whole journey takes about 15 minutes. The perfect period to visit this light bioluminescence phenomenon is anytime between June and October.
What You Can Do in Vaadhoo Island
Obviously, since this is a pretty famous visiting place, lots of places can be visited there. However, what most people do is take in that breathtaking serene beach at night time. But you might also walk on the shore, let your feet feel the water or maybe just enjoy the scenery.
Other Bioluminescent Beaches in the Maldives
Apart from Vaadhoo Island, there are a few other places in the Maldives where you can observe the phenomenon of glowing beaches. Here are some of those places:
- Kuredu – This Maldives’ island is famous for its long and peaceful beach, which attracts travelers who aren’t afraid to spend a little bit more money on unforgettable holidays. Because there’s a high-end resort on the island, this is the place where you can spot many A-list celebs.
- Veligandu – Another island with high-end hotels, Veligando is a favorite place of celebrities from all around the planet. They come here not only to observe bioluminescence effect but also to enjoy the white sandy beach and crystal-clear waters.
- Athuruga – The island is packed with luxury villas and hotels that offer top-level service. But, man-made structures aren’t the main reason why people rush to this island. What puts Athuruga on travel maps is the blue ocean and glowing shore.
- Mirihi – Although it’s a very small island, Mirihi is extremely popular among tourists. This place is famous for overwater bungalows where people can stay and enjoy an amazing view of the ocean which glows at night.
- Vilamendhoo – The whole island is managed by Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, which provides top-level amenities to the visitors, as well as offers a variety of leisure activities. One of the most amazing activities you can take part in at Vilamendhoo is night-time scuba diving.
- Komandoo – A part of the North Miladhummadulhu Atoll, this island is an exclusive holiday destination for many reasons. First of all, its beach is magnificent, offering a fantastic view of the ocean that glows at night, while during the daytime, its waters are incredibly clear.
- Kandolhu – Another place where you can observe the bioluminescent phenomenon is a tiny island called Kandolhu. This place seems to be a paradise for romantic souls who want to get away from the crown, hence is a favorite spot of honeymooners. One of the reasons why this is the case is that it’s pretty remote. Other reasons include the fact that its natural surroundings are beautiful. And of course, the ocean glows during the night…
If Maldives’ islands are too far away from you, worry not because you can observe the bioluminescent effect in many other places around the globe. And those places are exactly what we’re going to discuss next.
What Other Places are There Where You Can See Bioluminescent Plankton?
There are so many places around the globe where you can see this phenomenon. Conveniently, most places are also really good vacation spots.
The Maldives’ known for its bright white shores and abundant marine life – about any island has this phenomenon happening. Mid-summer is the best season to go observe this, but it can generally show up anytime.
You can spot this also in San Diego – this phenomenon was seen there also. Other places where this has been sighted could be Australia, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Vietnam, and Thailand.
Spotting Bioluminescent Microorganisms
The fact is that it is a pretty big challenge to be at the right time and place to see this phenomenon. As they are tricky to anticipate where they will be, as they appear usually in the middle of the sea. They only show up as tidal waves push them to the shore in banks so that they are visible from the shore.
According to one of the biggest experts on this phenomenon, a photographer called Kris Williams, there are rules you should follow if you want to make sure you are going to witness this magnificent phenomenon.
Even though bioluminescent microorganisms rarely appear on the waterside, you might see the phenomenon if you have some perseverance, diligence and with Kris’ pieces of advice:
- It is good to explore and get to a place like a small bas, or to some inlets and wharves – locations where the phenomenon has been sighted in the past.
- If the temperature is a bit high you might have more luck on your side. He’s noticed that between April and November are the luckiest.
- If you find out that this happened in a place close to you, try going there the next day, because it might be there for some time. There are times when it only shows once, but there are exceptions when it lasts for more weeks.
- Obviously, you will observe it during nighttime – these microorganisms’ circadian rhythm makes them only be able to glow in the dark.
- It might be possible to sight this in the daytime – but it will be a mass of red algae on the waterline. This is a sign that these microorganisms can be near because they feed on it so you might try your luck here during the night. Also, you might be in for a treat – since this could be a sign of a bigger microorganism display coming your way.
- During night strolls on the shore, make sure you don’t have any lights on, in order to let your eyes get used to the night. Don’t worry, as you acclimatize, you will have no problem finding your way in the dark. The reason for turning off your lights is that you will not see any glowing at all.
- In order for this phenomenon to take place, the microorganisms need a factor to disturb or move them, so as the waves hit the shore, there will be glowing in the water. If you’re walking in the water, you’ll notice that your footprints in the sand will glow. However, if the water is not agitated enough, you might want to throw something in the water and if any microorganisms are there, you will see a little glowing.
Now that you know how and where to find this phenomenon, all that’s left is to pack your suitcase and go on an unforgettable trip!