If you want to try swimming amongst the stars, then you’ll love the phenomenon that is the “Sea Of Stars”, due to its glowing blue waves, on one of the islands in the Indian Ocean.
In the Maldives, a group of islands are collectively known as Raa Atoll, and there is Vaadhoo Island, where you’ll be most likely to find the magical ‘Sea Of Stars’. Home to just over 500 people, many tourists travel to Vaadhoo Island to see this event.
Travelling to this island means you can walk on the beach and have your own natural star path, or you’ll be staring out over the gorgeous Maldives beach as the sunsets, showcasing the blue ocean stars glowing back at you.
Vaadhoo Island is located around 5 miles from Malé International Airport. This is the main airport in the Maldives, and you can take a speedboat from there to reach the island.
This beautiful and spectacular occurrence happens due to marine microorganisms called phytoplankton. A certain kind of this is named dinoflagellates and is the one responsible for the glow. The dinoflagellates glow the magical blue after oxygen is introduced into the water, and these microorganisms float in the water charging up with electrical impulses all day long. However, this glow is actually used as a defence mechanism against predators, but they do create a stunning sea of glowing blue stars.
At Vaadhoo Island, there are amazing corals and various forms of marine life to discover. It has become a great snorkelling destination because of this. Thankfully, the phytoplankton is harmless to animals. However, if predators eat the glowing dinoflagellates, it may cause them to attract more giant predators. When swallowed, the phytoplankton will still glow even when inside another creature, making them light-up.
Many of you will be pleased to learn that swimming in this glowing rarity is perfectly safe for humans. Any movement within the water, stamping your feet, throwing sand or the waves rolling cause these ‘stars’ to glow.
When it comes to causing the blue glow, it’s the phytoplankton being moved in the waves. It sends electrical impulses around a proton-filled compartment inside them, causing the pH to change as it mixes with water and creates a chemical reaction, which makes the neon blue light.
Although difficult to predict due to the Sea Of Stars depending on climate, the plankton and place’s growth. The most popular location is Vaadhoo Island, but other places across the Maldives have also recorded this event’s sights. According to those who live there, the best time, and most likely, to see this phenomenon is in the late summer. At this time, the maximum temperature is between 30 and 32 celsius in the day. However, at night it’s considerably cooler.
To add to the romance of being in one of the most beautiful places in the world, you don’t just have to admire the Sea of Stars from the shore as you can also dine al fresco beside it. Sitting beachside as the water glows beside you is an evening you’ll never forget.
Although more prevalent in the Maldives, the “Sea Of Stars” spectacle has also been recorded to have happened at Leucadia in California, Mosquito Bay in Puerto Rico and the Lakshadweep Islands within India. However, it isn’t as prominent as it is in the Maldives.
As beautiful as this natural event is, don’t set your hopes too high. Nature, as always, is unpredictable, and even if you plan your trip for the late summer, it doesn’t mean you will see the Sea Of Stars. It shouldn’t be expected, but a pleasant surprise.
Visiting the Maldives is a holiday you’ll never forget, and you should savour all of the moments you get to experience there. Remember, all of nature needs to align, so while in the day you marvel at the surrounding tropical blue waters, at night you could get the chance to see the ocean light up, finding twinkling blue ocean stars staring back at you!