Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dark Magic - Bioluminescent Bay

When you're a kid, just about everything can be attributed to magic: Santa Claus, lightning, toilets. But by the time you become an adult, there's not a lot of magic left in the world. Well, that time I found a parking meter with 56 minutes left on it was pretty magical, but that's about the only example I can think of. See, it's a sad state of affairs. Which is why the bioluminescent bay in Vieques, Puerto Rico, is such a treat. It is a truly magical experience, no matter how old you are. You WILL squeal once you kayak through the bay in the dark, or jump into the waters for a swim. The water lights up in a mystical blue-green color every time you touch it. And if you scoop it up for a closer look, you'll see tiny silver sparkles twinkling like fairy dust in your hands.

So what exactly is happening here? I told you, it's MAGIC! Well, magic plus the fact that the biobay is home to tiny, single-celled organisms that light up when agitated. I know. How cute is that? They're glowing because they're mad! And because there are 720,000 of these organisms PER GALLON of water in the Vieques biobay, a bluish glow emerges from the combined bursts of light. But sometimes science can be such a buzz-kill. I say just go. Maybe keep your mouth closed when you jump into the water, though.

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