Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism. This word is a hybrid of the Greek word bios for “living” and the Latin word lumen “light”. Bioluminescence is a natural phenomenon where energy is released by a chemical reaction in the form of light. Creatures like anglerfish produce the chemicals luciferin and luciferase. The luciferin reacts with oxygen creating different colours of light while luciferase acts as a catalyst to speed up the reaction.
In recent photos of Maldives, the shoreline surf is dotted with tiny dots of blue light, seeming to reflect the stars above. This may frighten some. However, this is just another of the “Bioluminescence” phenomenon. This blue light is from phytoplankton (microscopic sea creatures), which secreted the illuminating chemicals as a survival mechanism. Phytoplankton’s releasing these chemicals is not surprising as 90% of deep-sea marine life is estimated to produce bioluminescence. The blue colour was seen because most marine light-emission belongs in the blue and green light range, as these are the wavelengths which can travel thought the seawater most effortlessly.