If you have ever been to the beach or river at night, and have seen the water light up neon blue or green, it is not just a trick on your eyes. During the summer and early fall usually from June through early October, there can be as many as 100,000 dinoflagellates per liter of water. Dinoflagellates
are single-celled microorganisms that are regarded as algae that can exhibit bioluminescence, which is the blue or green light you see when the water is disturbed where they are present.
The Indian River Lagoon, which stretches approximately 156 miles from the Ponce de Leon Inlet in Mosquito Lagoon to the Jupiter Inlet near West Palm Beach, is home to greatest natural light show every summer and early fall. When boats or kayaks move through the water, it is very evident that there are dinoflagellates present as the river swirls with neon blue or green lights.
Next time you are near the river or ocean at night (maybe because you're looking for sea turtles), make sure to be on the lookout for the microorganisms that are making the greatest light show and maybe you'll be lucky enough to see for yourself how spectacular they can be!