The Maldives has always been a popular honeymoon destination, known for its crystal clear waters, gorgeous beaches and glamorous, resort-style accommodation. As if the area wasn’t romantic enough, at night there’s a breathtaking natural phenomenon that transforms its shores into glimmering waves of iridescent blue. One visitor who stumbled on the unbelievable sight likened it to the starry night skies of the Milky Way and took to the internet to find out the cause of the mysterious occurrence.

Taiwanese photographer Will Ho was blown away when he stumbled upon the glowing sand while visiting the Maldives. The photos he took show the brilliance of what’s known as Noctiluca scintillans, or more commonly Sea Sparkle, which is caused by a bio-luminescent phytoplankton.


The phytoplanktons emit light when they are disturbed, so the glowing effect is most noticeable when the water hits the shore, or during a surf or swim after dark.


Footprints in the sand also light up like a neon display.



The phenomenon isn’t unique to the Maldives, but it’s far more common here than in other parts of the world. Beaches in California and Sydney recently showed rare signs of bio-luminescence after an unusual red tide appeared during the day, indicating a high concentration of plankton, and you can even find these glittering drops of magic on beaches in some warmer areas of Japan.


If you want to surround yourself in an ocean of stars, you might want to put a trip to the Maldives on your bucket list because now they’re offering night dives into the blue waters. A romantic stroll on the beach may never be quite the same after a night like this in the Maldives!

Photos via Colossal
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