Bioluminescent algae blooms are truly a wonder of nature. A rarity for most shores, these fluorescent waters appear when populations of bioluminescent algae species, such as Pyrocystis lunula, rapidly grow to produce a dense cell concentrations that can span for miles along the coast. During the day, waters may appear turbid due to the phytoplankton concentrations, but after the sun sets a circadian mechanism initiates their bioluminescent potential. Cells become sensitive to movement, either by the water itself or by other organisms that physically interact with the cells, such as copepod grazers. With this physical disturbance, energy containing molecules called Luciferin are released within the cells to be oxidized by the enzyme Luciferase, and highly efficient reaction releases an instantaneous silver-blue light.
This song explores the dichotomy between the human experience of natural phenomena and the ecological purposes of these processes. We can find great beauty in the light of the water, but for the microscopic organisms that produce it, the light is rather a sophisticated tool for minimizing predation risk and maximizing survival.