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Found: the bioluminescent beaches with the most-otherworldly glow in the world


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Photo: Instagram/@askmetravel

Now that it’s possible to access just about anything desired via a simple swipe or stroke of the key, it’s perhaps unsurprising that people have begun yearning for the few things that cannot be truly experienced in the digital realm. Nature is one such attraction, as although it can be striking in a photograph and even breathtaking in a video, it is most memorable (and often spiritually fulfilling) when experienced IRL. (Just ask forest-bathing devotees.)

Particularly enchanting among the natural world’s many magical offerings are the bioluminescent events which happen in waters worldwide (think: the ocean lit up in neon). Many forms of marine life—from bacteria to algae to jellyfish and even sharks—light up via a chemical reaction that occurs within their bodies or as the result of their intake of smaller creatures with bioluminescent capabilities. Some use the trick to attract mates while for others, it’s a sign of stress, which can be caused by something as simple as a wave.

Often, when you’re able to witness mass bioluminescence near an ocean’s surface (not deep down in its depths) it’s caused by phytoplankton blooms, specifically. Though it’s not always easy to predict when these—or any bioluminescence events sparked by larger lighted organisms, for that matter—will occur, there are certain spots around the world where it’s most likely you’ll be able to see such a sight. Below, find details on some of the world’s best bioluminescent beaches.

Have you heard that we’re leading our second Well+Good Retreat in Cedar Lakes this August? Reserve your spot before Friday, May 25 for 10 percent off booking!  

Originally published February 10, 2018; updated May 24, 2018.

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