IF YOU WERE ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES TO BE ON THE BEACH THIS PAST WEEKEND YOU WERE WITNESS TO A BEAUTIFUL DISPLAY OF BIO-LUMINESCENT PLANKTON
Alaska may have the Northern Lights and the popular book “Life of Pie” may have referenced a neon green, glowing carnivorous island. However, this weekends amazing light show on the OBX puts it in the running for one of Mother Nature’s best performances yet! A shout out to our friend Jim Trotman for capturing some of this weekends fascinating show while out strolling the beach himself.
A stunning parade of neon blue lights dancing across the ocean’s surface, flowing smoothly like an orchestra playing a grand aqua-blue symphony. The waves lighting up each time they rippled across the surface or crashed on the beach. This unique natural occurrence is referred to as bio-luminescence. A change in the oxygen level in the ocean took place this weekend causing a unique algae bloom. This bloom was extremely interesting as the algae were from the marine –dwelling species of dinoflagellate Noctiluca scintillans commonly known as Sea Sparkle. When this specific species of plankton is stressed by too much motion a chemical reaction occurs creating a bright neon light referred to as bio-luminescence. Some believe this is could be a defense mechanism to ward off predators others think it is mother natures way of showing us that magic still exist.
The glowing blue neon waves weren’t the only thing that made this weekend a fascinating spectacle.
The start of the New Moon occurred on Saturday . Like a scene from Avatar, the moon rose over the sparkling neon water and enchanted the beach goers with its orange and reddish hue cascading light through-out the night sky. I have truly never witnessed anything more mesmerizing. It isn’t every day you have the chance to be transported to another world. A place where the sky’s glow red, the water glitters a neon blue and the moon takes over half the night sky.
The Outer Banks of NC has many spectacular things to offer but in my opinion one of its best qualities is something that can only be provided by Miss Mother Nature herself. If you missed it, don’t worry. The Sea Sparkles will one day return. You too will be able to witness the enchantment that mother nature has to offer. Be sure to book your Outer Banks vacation early as Oceanfront properties are the first to book!