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4/10 2012

Sea of Stars


Sea of Stars

Vadhoo, one of the Raa Atoll islands in the Maldives is protagonist of a particular phenomenon, an incredible image, taken by photographer Doug Perrine during a visit:
sea of stars.
It is not something related to the sky or astronomy, but a suggestive chemical reaction, called
bioluminescence, it is a phenomen determined by micro organisme in water disturbed by oxygen.

Pinpricks of light on the shore seem to mirror stars. It may look like an alien life-form has washed up on a beach, but this striking neon blue effect is a natural chemical.

Mr Doug Perrine’s photo is really surreal, really suggestive the contrast between the stars in the sky, the blue aura on the beach and the glow of a ship’s lights on the horizon.
Bioluminescence is a natural phenomenon, according to which there is the production and emission of light by a living organism. Its name originates from the Greek bios for “living” and the Latin lumen “light”.
In this way, the sea water seems to become an electric neon blue, the biological light, produced by marine microbes, phytoplankton, has been studied by scientific point of view, scientists, infact, believe that the blue glow of these life forms can be considered similar to that of the fireflies, used to attract prey or mates.

Fireflies, anglerfish, and other creatures produce the chemicals luciferin a pigment called luciferin and an enzyme luciferase. The luciferin reacts with oxygen to create light, so it is possible to say that this happens both in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as microorganisms and terrestrial animals.

The biological light, or bioluminescence, in the waves is the product of marine microbes called phytoplankton—and now scientists think they know how some of these life-forms create their brilliant blue glow.
The phytoplankton is known as dinoflagellates. Recently they have been object of study of Dr.Hastings, that has elaborated a theory according to which they create their illumination thanks to the channel in the cell membrane this membrane responds to electrical signal.
This rare sight can be seen on a shoreline, often when the ships stir up
the oxygen in the sea, this makes the bacteria glow.

 

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