Trivia / Nocturnal Goa

The waves of some beaches in South Goa shimmer on some nights due to the __________.

  1. bioluminescence by Phytoplanktons
  2. reflection of Fireflies(Jugnoo)
  3. refraction from sunlight

bioluminescence by Phytoplanktons

Phytoplanktons are biotic organisms that live on the surface layer of all water bodies in the world. The name Phytoplankton is derived from the Greek words - phyton meaning plant and planktos meaning drifter or wanderer. They are responsible for amost half of the photosynthesis that happens on Earth and thus are the foundation of the aquatic food-web.

Some species of Phytoplanktons when present in large numbers reflect light and cause the surface of the water to glow. Dinoflagelletes, the most common pythoplankton that causes bioluminescence, produce light as a defence mechanism. The flash, that lasts for a fraction of a second, is meant to attract the predator of the creature trying to consume it. The mechanism surprises the creature causing it to worry about other predators that now know of its location.

Phytoplanktins grow in large number during the summer monsoons and thus one has a higher chance of spotting them from April to October on the beaches of South Goa. Betalbatim beach and Benaulim beach are some offbeat beaches where one can try its luck to spot the beautiful phenomenon.

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