Edition Maldives - EN

The Maldives

The Sea of Stars!

02 August 2017 - 15:49

Aishath Sajuha

Travel enthusiast, amateur artist and blogger.

Ever wanted to touch the stars?

Maldives will make you feel as if you are in a land millions of light years away, from the real world, where everything is phenomenal.  

This tiny island in the Maldives is popular for its glowing sea of stars, as soon as dusk falls, the lagoons surrounding the island glows, the waters become luminous.

Situated in Raa Atoll, Vaadhoo is an inhabited island with a population of approximately 600. During the day time the beaches of Vaadhoo are light blue, however at night it all changes. The lagoons start glowing, and yes! It’s just like a dream come true.

And this is all thanks to the marine micro-organisms called phytoplankton.

In the case of Raa Vaadhoo, the glowing waters are caused due to a specific type of phytoplankton named as dinoflagellates. These little creatures release a blue luminescence whenever the waters are disturbed in presence of oxygen. It is believed to be occurred due to a defense mechanism in order to deter predators. If a fish were to eat such microorganisms, it will still continue to glow inside the stomach, therefore will be at risk from predators.
But ever wondered, how it all works?

These dinoflagellates float with the aid of the movement the surrounding waters make, which then sends electrical impulses around the proton-filled compartment inside them. These pulses creates a voltage-sensitive proton ion which channel into flashing units, causing the  pH in the cells to change, which in turn creates a series of chemical reactions. Hence, activating a protein named as luciferase, which when in contact with oxygen creates a luminous neon blue glow. 


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