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Reality behind Bioluminescence

A phenomena grabbing  every local’s attention from past few days is the blue waves hitting the shore at night. Many visitors have crowded the beaches at dusk to view this spectacle. But the ocean has a different tale to tell, unheard to us.

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Bioluminescence in beaches is not a today occurrence. From past few years many beaches around the world have experienced such glow in the dark waves, though the intensity was meagre. This is caused by the bloom of Dinoflagellates, minute marine creatures, exhibiting bioluminescence. The mystery behind the sparkles is the presence of chemical-LUCIFERIN and its enzyme -LUCIFERASE. This chemical with oxygen results in the blue glow at night,especially when the waves crash.With flagella these creatures have created havoc in beauty.

An alarming truth behind the beautiful shimmering waves is that they are actually a sign of danger, especially to marine organisms and gradually to humans. Researchers have been successful in deciphering the course and effect of these dinoflagellates. Though on their own these creatures are not harmful, they become toxic as they munch on the toxic algae. Feeding on these noxious algae, the dinoflagellates release poisonous chemicals like ammonia into the marine ecosystem. Adding to this issue, they use up all the oxygen leaving the surrounding deficit and suffocated from no oxygen. Directly and indirectly this poisons all marine forms rendering the sea to be sick. Also human health is affected unknowingly.

The reason behind these occurrences and the increased ill condition of the ocean seems to be quite ordinary though the agitation it has caused is unusual. Researchers have identified pollution and dumping of agricultural and industrial junks leading to increased nutrient levels to be the sole and major reason behind the bioluminescence activity. Ultimately the increased glow of the waves indicate more severity of the toxicity  and threat to water ecosystems.

With all the pompous as we enjoyed the blue-green waves, let’s accept the reality and with sincerity-help to calm the sea, protect the ocean and make aware this sad reality.

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