Spectacular Bioluminescent "Sea Sparkles" Glow at Brava Beach in Uruguay

Remco Douma is a Dutch photographer who is passionate about capturing the sights of Uruguay, a country that he calls his home. While at Brava beach near Punta del Este, he witnessed a magical sight. “Sea sparkles” appeared on March 31, and they transformed the crashing waves into a spectacular, luminous blue that radiated under the night sky.

This natural phenomena is the result of bioluminescence, and it's what makes an organism able to glow in the dark. Fireflies and plankton also have this trait. The sparkles that Douma photographed were caused by a dinoflagellate species called Alexandrium fraterculus. It's nontoxic (unlike Noctiluca, another dinoflagellate species), and scientists aren't exactly sure why it shines. Some think that the Alexandrium fraterculus uses it as a defense mechanism. The crashing waves could've disturbed it and caused this light.

Douma's beautiful, surreal images show just how amazing nature is, and it reminds us that sometimes, we should slow down and enjoy the splendor.

Remco Douma website
via [A Plus]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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