Whether blinking on the back of a firefly or glowing from a mysterious clump of mushrooms, bioluminescence often looks like magic. This video is no exception, as a cruising kayak lights up the waves with swirls of electric blue. For superhero fans, dipping your hand in these waters might be the closest you get to seeing lightning shoot from your fingertips, but no superpowers are needed to kayak through the Florida bioluminescence.
Florida is a hotspot for bioluminescence
Glowing plants and animals are an unusual sight, but in these ocean waters they are not quite as rare as you might think. The coastal estuaries of Florida are among the best places to view the phenomenon, with seasonal migrations of bioluminescent jellyfish and microscopic plankton called dinoflagellates.
Dinoflagellate plankton light up primarily from June to October each year. These harmless creatures use a chemical enzyme called luciferase to emit a blue-green glow when their marine environment is disturbed, but to our eyes the water itself seems to shine with an otherworldly light.
Visit Florida and see for yourself
To experience bioluminescent kayaking, check in with a tour operator based in Cocoa Beach or Titusville, a short drive south of Orlando. Clear kayaks can be booked for a premium experience. Other bioluminescent kayaking can be found on Florida’s gulf coast near Tampa.
Want more details? Our guide to bioluminescent kayaking has all the info on these and other spots to get your glow up.