Bioluminescence created by Noctiluca scintillans on the Gippsland Lakes in eastern Victoria, Australia. This was taken by Phil Hart on January 1st, 2009 (midsummer down under, remember), from Camp Cooinda on Banksia Peninsula. Phil has an explanation page called "Bioluminescence in the Gippsland Lakes" with a number of additional pictures.
(Thanks to Phil Aynsley)
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Featured Comment by V. I. Voltz: "I am a marine biologist. We have had large scale cultures of Noctiluca spp. in bags in our algal culture lab—some of the original samples came from the Gippsland Lakes. These algae really are exquisite. If you hit the bag with your hand while the lights were off, the whole mass would shimmer and flash, shining and changing colour subtly. Amazing, amazing little organisms."
Featured Comment by Ctein: "Oh, my. I've been wanting to make photos like these for over 40 years. The second one is exquisite. The first, in this small, oversaturated JPEG, is too over-the-top to work artistically; the disparate elements just don't seem to cohere. In a larger, more subtle print, though, it might very well be glorious. Still, all in all, a remarkable set of work. Makes my heart swell in my throat just to see it."
Featured Comment by Vito: "The island of Vieques, in Puerto Rico, has a bioluminescent bay. Five years ago on a moonless night we went. It is one of the most amazing experiences of my life. We even saw a large shark below our kayak all lit up glowing green as it cruised about. I tried my best to get photos, but my canon G7 wasn't up to the task. Needed ISO it simply could not do. Our guide said he knew of no one who had successfully photographed the bay. I guess, he hadn't met the right photographer with the right gear yet. I'd absolutely kill to have a photo of that slowly moving bright green shark."
Featured Comment by Leigh Youdale: "During the Sydney Olympics (2000AD) I was crewing on a yacht delivery from Noumea in New Caledonia to Sydney—some 1500 miles.
"One evening still stands out in my memory. There was sufficient breeze to push us along under spinnaker at about five knots. There was a slight sea mist and high alto-cu clouds that obscured the moon but the effect was as if the yacht was located in the centre of a luminescent sphere. You could not detect where the sky and sea joined at the horizon. It was quite magical.
"We became aware of of the luminescence in droplets and plashes from the bow wave and then remarkably there was this trail of light behind the boat for some 200 yards. It was as if we were suspended on a trail of light. Presently too, we became aware of ghostly green shapes below us in the water, shadowing our progress. They never surfaced and some were huge - much bigger than sharks or dolphins—possibly whale sharks or small whales. The yacht was 39 feet long and the 'shapes' were longer than the boat!"