Dinoflagellates, Fireflies of the Sea: Fear of Failure, Chapter 14

Dinoflagellates, fireflies of the sea.

I remember one night dive distinctly. It was dark, and there was no moon in the sky. We were diving down only thirty feet to catch lobster. After paddling out the appropriate distance, we turned on our underwater flashlights to find lobster but as soon as my mask hit the water a visually overwhelming flash of light blinded my vision. Descending at a slower pace the brightness in my face mask diminished, but if I accelerated past a certain velocity the turbulence picked up causing the bright blue swirls. It was like chewing popping bubble gum candy in your mouth, the faster I moved my mask, the more brilliant the glow.

I saw the same blue light coming off my fingers as if they were on fire with a green flame. Every time I moved my head the face mask disturbed the water flow, the green fluorescence emanating from my face mask blinded me. There was no way we could see past the fluorescence created by the algae, so we swam back to shore and went home. The event was magical, and memorable, although nonproductive regarding seafood catch.


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Next Chapter: Sea Monster


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