Help! My Water is Glowing!

I’ve never seen the ocean glow, but Katie Spotz did this week. She has been rowing in the Atlantic Ocean for 3 weeks now, getting closer to South America each day. A recent tweet from her:

Read the rest at DR

Comments

  1. #1 Lorax
    January 29, 2010

    If you ever get to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the late summer, go swimming at night. Its a blast to watch the trails of light flow behind people.

  2. #2 Flavia
    January 29, 2010

    Ooooh pretty!
    There’s bioluminescence in the Mediterranean too. I saw it several times in different seaside locations around Italy, in the last seven years: Muggia (Northern Adriatic, near the border with Slovenia) in 1995, San Vincenzo (Southern Tuscany) in 2009 and in Chia (East-Southern Sardinian coast) in 2003.
    It’s a beautiful phenomenon.

    OT: Long time reader, first time commenter. I enjoy your writings very much, Mr. Laden.

  3. #3 Hanspeter
    January 29, 2010

    Given that bioluminescence won the Nobel prize in 2008, I would have thought the phenomenon would be slightly better known.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    January 29, 2010

    I mentioned it in lecture yesterday and it seemed not well known.

  5. #5 Lorax
    January 29, 2010

    Greg, I would point out that you live in Minnesota. While not completely land-locked, about as landlocked as you could get. Color me not surprised that a group of almost certainly 99.9% mid-westerners are unaware of a phenomenon that happens at a coast.

    Lorax

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    January 29, 2010

    Actually, I was referring (in class) to bioluminescence that happens way inland.

    In the rain forest, admittedly, but inland.

  7. #7 Lorax
    January 29, 2010

    I stand….well actually Im sitting….corrected. Still Ill stand by my primary assertion that Minnesotans are not in general exposed to bioluminescence unless they read about it. Not many glowing bugs in Lake Superior or Calhoun.

    But now, Im intrigued. What do/did natives make of bioluminescence historically? Was it any different than Aegean sailors in 350BC?

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    January 29, 2010

    I don’t know. In the Ituri Forest, the phenomenon is just part of life. Lots of bugs glow, as does a mossy substance on the ground. At night, without a flashlight, if the moon is not strong, you can (sort of) find your way along a trail because the untrammeled forest floor glows, but the trail does not.

  9. #9 Lorax
    January 29, 2010

    No, No, No! That answer is unacceptable. During my upbringing, I never encountered bioluminescence until I went swimming at CSHL, as mentioned above. I was amazed, awed, and otherwise like a child going to see a 3D movie for the first time. Therefore, people much less refined than me who grew up continually with these bugs and phenomena must have reacted as naively as I did.

  10. #10 Digital Rabbit
    January 29, 2010

    Hi,

    DR means Digital Rabbit. Thanks for reposting excerpts from my blog, but please refer to the blog as Digital Rabbit in your link back to the original posting.

    By the way, Katie Spotz is doing an amazing thing by rowing from coast to coast to raise money for water in developing countries. The purpose of my original post was to give a glimpse into Katie’s experiences, one of which is bioluminescence. I’m following her progress and helping her to raise money. Please visit Katie’s website and donate money for her cause—Row for Water. She blogs about her experiences — like have sharks follow her, or fish jump into the boat. She would love to hear from people during this very long voyage.

    http://rowforwater.com/cause/

    Thank you,

    Digital Rabbit
    Blogging for safe drinking water, sanitation, and the Earth.

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    January 29, 2010

    Actually, according to Internet Protocol, the blogger can use any phrase at all in the link. For instance, I could have said “Read the rest here” and linked on the word “here”

    Does DR mean something bad that should be avoided?

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