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Friday, 04 February 2011


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I saw bioluminiscence long time ago when walking on the beach with a girlfriend. We walked in a dense fog and every step on the wet sand became a light spot. Very spooky at first until I remembered reading about bioluminiscence. I'll never forget that walk.

Very cool.

The island of vieques, in puerto rico has a bio luminescent 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.

Hmmmmmzzzz, mr. Voltz commercial potential as discolighting? Nice shot, as a biochemist I'm well aware of these phenomina, luciferine and luciferase as memory serves and Nocticula performes the same pathway as the firefly but I guess mr. Voltz could explain that better then moi, and I agree with Ctein here.....less is more.

Greetings, Ed

I can't believe I've lived my entire life so close to Gippsland and never even known about this phenomenon. I now know something I'll be doing this summer.

But, but... the Milky Way is down-side up.

I might have guessed that Phil Hart is an accomplished astro-photographer from seeing these two pictures, and then I browsed around and was convinced. The Biolumen is very beautiful. Still, I scratched my head at what sky I was seeing, and what time of year and day, since I live in North America and have never been to South Australia. I figured out it was Carina to Centaurus with Crux in the middle and it was about 2100 local in Dec or Jan.

The photos and the story of bioluminescence reminded me of some of the most evocative and powerful phrases from Rachel Carson's "The Sea Around Us" - actually she was quoting Charles Darwin who wrote in October 24, 1832 about a pitch dark night, with a fresh breeze when he stood on the deck of the Beagle as she ploughed southward through the Atlantic off the coast of Brazil.

"The sea from its extreme luminousness presented a wonderful and most beautiful
appearance [he wrote in his diary]. Every part of the water which by day is seen as foam glowed with a pale light. The vessel drove before her bows two billows of liquid
phosphorous, and in her wake was a milky train. As far as the eye reached the crest of every wave was bright; and from the reflected light, the sky just above the horizon was not so utterly dark as the rest of the Heavens. It was impossible to behold this plain of matter, as it were melted and consumed by heat, without being reminded of Milton's description of the regions of Chaos and Anarchy."

You need no further words to describe the emotional magnificence that is biolumunescence at sea.
You can read Carson's seminal work at http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/seacarson.pdf and read Darwin's original notes at http://being.publicradio.org/programs/2009/darwin/tree-sketch24.shtml

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