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Satellites Spot Oceans Aglow With Trillions of Organisms - (NY Times Article)

A new generation of detectors let scientists identify a dozen large episodes of bioluminescence, one a hundred times larger than Manhattan — and that’s the smallest.

The ocean has always glowed.

The Greeks and Romans knew of luminous sea creatures as well as the more general phenomenon of seawater that can light up in bluish-green colors.

Charles Darwin, as he sailed near South America on a dark night aboard the H.M.S. Beagle, encountered luminescent waves. He called it “a wonderful and most beautiful spectacle.” As far as the eye could see, he added, “the crest of every wave was bright” — so much so that the “livid flames” lit the sky.

Now, scientists report that ocean bioluminescence can be so intense and massive in scale that satellites orbiting five hundred miles high can see glowing mats of microorganisms as they materialize in the seas. Last month in the journal Scientific Reports, eight investigators told of finding a luminous patch south of Java in 2019 that grew to be larger than the combined areas of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Read the full New York Times Article HERE.


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