Magical Beaches That Naturally Glow

Puerto Rico

As waves break on the sandy shore a beautiful twinkling electric blue glow appears. This magical effect is because of millions of tiny creatures called bioluminescent phytoplankton. These organisms glow like fireflies and emit light when stressed.

The glow results from a chemical reaction when certain chemicals are mixed together and produce energy which ‘excites’ other particles on vibration. The group of chemicals involved to make plankton glow are broadly termed luciferins and the light is produced by a series of reactions set off by a catalyst called luciferase.

There are a number of locations throughout the world where bioluminescent plankton regularly appear. Here are few of them.




Gippsland Lake, Australia


Jervis Bay, Australia


Fuzhou, China

Dongying, China


Holbox Island, Mexico


Rodeo Beach, California