It’s bioluminescence time in Central Florida. You know, when some bodies of water in Brevard County glow at night.
If you’re not familiar, you may be asking, “What’s bioluminescence?” Well, guides from BK Adventure, which runs kayaking tours, say certain aquatic organisms produce bright lights in the water.
“We have two main types of creatures out here. We have the dinoflagellates and the comb jellies,” said BK Adventure Tour Guide Jacob Horvath. “They produce this protein called Luciferin and whenever you agitate them, they release either into the surrounding water or cells within themselves and it reacts to the oxygen to produce a blue/green glow that’s extremely bright. You can see it all throughout the night.”
According to the National Ocean Service, “The light emitted by a bioluminescent organism is produced by energy released from chemical reactions occurring inside (or ejected by) the organism.”
Horvath said the water organisms are charged with energy by the light from the sun, and at night, the movement causes them to emit a glow in the water.
“The Dinoflagellates are like little plankton. You can see when you run your hand through, the water is glowing. That’s what you’ll see during the summertime when we have more sunshine,” said Horvath. “During the wintertime when it gets cold, that’s when we’re going to get more comb jellies which are like fireflies that sparks in the water.”
BK Adventure says during the summer months the Banana and Indian rivers glow with bioluminescence and that the “inland waterways make for the perfect conditions of high concentrations of bioluminescent plankton.”
There are better times of the month when you can see the bioluminescence more than other days. The best viewing time is around the new moon, according to BK Adventure, because there is no moonlight reflecting on the water.
Even the days before and after the noon moon will also provide good viewing as there is still little to no moonlight.
Check out a calendar of bioluminescence viewing at bkadventure.com.
Places to take bioluminescence kayak tours
According to VisitSpaceCoast.com, these are the companies offering bioluminescence tours.