The luminous water of Glistening Lagoon

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Posted on Fri, Nov 07 2014 13:36:46

Located near the port city of Felmaunt, where the river Martha Brae flows into the sea, Glistening Waters (or the Luminous Lagoon)  was the traditional place of unloading of the British ships. Decades later, the scientists found an amazing feature of this lagoon - there are millions of microorganisms called dinoflagellates, that thrive in the water. Because of these microorganisms, at night, the water produces amazing glowing areolas around objects which come into contact with the water - whether it's a boat or a bathing person. Glistening Waters lagoon is one of the four most brightly shining lagoons in the world.

If you dip your hand into the water, you will see it light up around you. You can also see the fish in the water, surrounded by the blue light. If you swim in the water and then come out of it, your body will still be luminescent.

According to the Jamaican folklore, this luminous lagoon was considered something like a fountain of youth – the women who swam in the water would become more beautiful and look younger, and men would benefit from an increase in penis size and an improved libido.

Dinoflagellates produce flashes of light, known as “bioluminescence”, when they are disturbed. Bioluminescence is still not fully understood, and this lagoon provides the scientists with the environment to research dinoflagellates. Since the lagoon has millions of those microorganisms, any disturbance of the waters causes them to light up. Out of the four luminous waters in the world, this lagoon has the highest concentration of them. The red mangrove trees around the lagoon provide vitamin B12, which is essential for the growth of the tiny organisms. The bioluminescence occurs only at night, following the circadian rhythm, and daytime is when dinoflagellates recharge. The more sunshine reaches the lagoon during the day, the shinier it will be at night – that's why it is not recommended to visit the place after a rainy day or during full moon.

Gallery: The luminous water of Glistening Lagoon

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Read more about Jamaica off the beaten path
Find more off the beaten path near: Negril Port Royal Runaway Bay

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