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Bioluminescent Kayaking in Florida

Bioluminescent kayaking in the Indian River Lagoon in Florida is perhaps the best kayaking experience you will ever have as a kayaking enthusiast. 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. Blue green neon light under the surface and glittery droplets are created when you stroke you paddle on the water.

Perhaps you want to know what kinds of creatures produce these lights. The creatures that make these lights are called dinoflagellates. They live in the water and they are light-emitting one-celled creatures. The Indian River Lagoon is full of these creatures from early June through early October. When they create cold light within themselves, these creatures resemble fireflies. 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. Only those who have experienced this will know what it is really like.

From mid-October through May, you will experience another bioluminescent show in the Indian River Lagoon. This time, it is the gelatinous comb jellies and not the dinoflagellates that are the stars of the show. People think that comb jellies are jellyfish, but they are not. The way they give out colors is either through bioluminescence or by light refraction. These jellies emit blue-green light when they are disturbed through bioluminescence and when their cilia is in motion, the light is refracted by this movement. A comb jelly can move with the paddling movement of the cilia and this is how they scatter light. This creates a pulsing, rainbow-like pattern. These two light shows from the dinoflagellates and from the comb jellies are similar to each other. However, what you experience is not the same, it is distinct even though the light shows are similar.

What the moon is not clearly visible, the skies are very dark and this is the best time to go bioluminescent kayaking. On a lunar calendar you can see when the new moon is, which is the darkest night of the month.

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