“Sea of Stars” is a stunning display of blue-light plankton at the beach in Raa Atoll, Vaadhoo Island. The island is 8 km from Malé International Airport and accessible via speedboat or ferry.
Vaadhoo Island, inhabited by about 500 people, has rich cultural traditions that protect its natural beauty. The island provides marine experiences, including snorkeling and coral exploration.
The “Sea of Stars” attracts attention for its sparkling blue lights, resembling stars in the Indian Ocean.
This mesmerizing phenomenon can be witnessed by tossing sand, stamping feet, or swimming since the blue-light plankton are harmless.
Shimmering Blue Planktons Illuminate the Ocean Waves
The blue light at the beach at nighttime originates from a bioluminescent phytoplankton, Lingulodinium polyedrum.
It resides in various organisms, including bacteria, algae, jellyfish, and worms. These marine microorganisms, known as dinoflagellates, are responsive to factors like ocean waves.
Bioluminescent phytoplankton are equipped with specialized organelles called scintillons within their cells. These organelles house the enzyme luciferase.
When this enzyme interacts with luciferin in the presence of oxygen, it produces a magical blue glow in the water, creating an extraordinary shimmering effect, reminiscent of a sea filled with stars.
These lights serve a dual purpose: as a defense mechanism against predators and as an attraction for larger predators.
The Ideal Moment to Experience The “Sea of Stars”
The “Sea of Stars” represents a rare and unforgettable phenomenon, but it’s hard to predict due to factors like climate and plankton growth.
However, the best time to witness this magical blue phenomenon is during the late summer, from June to October, when temperatures in the Maldives typically reach 30 to 32 degrees Celsius.