Saturday, February 04, 2012

Bioluminescent Pizza...

Last night I saw something amazing - right in front of Papa's Pizza. The waves were aglow with bioluminescence.
Sorry, I don't have any pictures but our camera just couldn't capture this incredible display of color. I grabbed these off the internet.

According to Wikipedia, bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism. Its name is a hybrid word, originating from the Greek bios for "living" and the Latin lumen "light". Bioluminescence is a naturally occurring form of chemiluminescence where energy is released by a chemical reaction in the form of light emission. Fireflies, anglerfish, and other creatures produce the chemicals luciferin (a pigment) and luciferase (an enzyme).[1] The luciferin reacts with oxygen to create light. The luciferase acts as a catalyst to speed up the reaction, which is sometimes mediated by cofactors such as calcium ions or ATP. The chemical reaction can occur either inside or outside the cell. In bacteria, the expression of genes related to bioluminescence is controlled by an operon called the Lux operon.

Bioluminescence occurs in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as microorganisms and terrestrial animals. Symbiotic organisms carried within larger organisms are also known to bioluminesce.

I'm sure this isn't the first time the Gulf has lit up but it's certainly the first time I've witnessed such a display. Because Seawall Blvd. is so bright, the effects were "slightly" reduced. But breaking waves 2-3 hundred feet from the beach looked like a bright streak of neon blue light. A couple of larger waves, crashing on shore, were spectacular. 

Don't know how much longer this show will last but it's definitely worth the price of admission.

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