Bioluminescent Kayaking: Experiencing Awesome Light Shows in Florida
If you are someone fond of kayaking, one of the greatest adventures you can have is to go kayaking in the bioluminescent waters of Florida, on the Indian River Lagoon. This bioluminescent experience happens when luminous organisms in the Indian River Lagoon flock together to exhibit a spectacular light display. If you visit the National Wildlife Refuge in Meritt Island and go kayaking in the India River Lagoon, you will get the chance to see luminous organisms in the lagoon.
Bioluminescence happens when chemical reactions happen within the bodies of tiny living organisms which makes them emit light. The best time to experience this is when the night skies are really dark. You will witness stunning aquatic light shows when the night is really dark. And even while you are paddling around, you will experience bioluminescence. IMagine yourself a painter holding a paddle paintbrush and painting on the wide canvas of the lagoon. Stroking the paddle on the water creates streaks of blue green neon light and send glittery droplets up into the air.
You may not see the creatures producing these lights and you might be wondering what they are. The creatures that make these lights are called dinoflagellates. These sea creatures are one-celled creatures which emit light. From early June through early October, these creatures swim in the Indian River Lagoon. These creatures create cold light within themselves just like fireflies do. The things in the water get illuminated by these creatures like tiny fish, water droplets, sea grass, and when you put your hand beneath the water, it gets illuminated too. People experiencing this phenomenon are awestruck. Words cannot describe the experience. It is something that you have to experience.
Another bioluminescence show that you can experience happens from mid-October through May. The light show this time does not come from the dinoflagellates but from the gelatinous comb jellies. People think that comb jellies are jellyfish, but they are not. These colored lights produced by comb jellies are either a result of bioluminescence or light refraction. Bioluminescence is responsible for the blue green light emitted by comb jellies when disturbed and light refraction happens when the cilia moves. A comb jelly can move with the paddling movement of the cilia and this is how they scatter light. A pulsing, rainbow-like pattern is created by this movement. These two light shows from the dinoflagellates and from the comb jellies are similar to each other. The light shows may be the same, but the experience is distinct.
What the moon is not clearly visible, the skies are very dark and this is the best time to go bioluminescent kayaking. The moon is dark during the new moon which you can know through a lunar calendar; this is the best time to go bioluminescent kayaking.