this is an actual photograph of a dinoflagellete that has been
enhanced to add the color and glow, the actual light burst would
be considerably bigger than this in relationship to the dinoflagellate.
makes a Biobay?
Bioluminescent Bay in Vieques is, perhaps, the brightest in the
world! with over 750,000 tiny dinoflagellates per gallon of water
that light up when they are touched! Imagine a lake full of Tinkerbells
fairy dust! Pure magic, the experience is actually indescribable.
bioluminescent dinoflagellates Pyrodinium bahamense are
a photosynthesis using plankton. They are one celled and measure
about 1/500 th of an inch. The tiny burst of light it gives off
is a hundred times bigger than itself. ( Above is merely an artists
depiction of the glow) Each dinoflagellete bursts into light when
it feels pressure against its cell wall. The light is given off
in an instantaneous process; when you add the light bursts of
750,000 dinoflagellates per cubic foot of water together the effect
all marine bioluminescence is (greenish) blue in color, for two
related reasons. First, blue-green light (wavelength around 470
nm) transmits furthest in water. The reason that underwater photos
usually look blue is because red light is quickly absorbed as
you descend. The second reason for bioluminescence to be blue
is that most organisms are sensitive only to blue light.
luminescence of a single dinoflagellate is readily visible to
the dark adapted human eye. Most dinoflagellates emit about 6e8
photons in a flash lasting only about 0.1 second. Much larger
organisms such as jellyfish emit about 2e11 photons per second
for sometimes tens of seconds. The intensity of luminescence by
photosynthetic dinoflagellates is strongly influenced by the intensity
of sunlight the previous day. The brighter the sunlight the brighter