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Vaadhoo island

One of the Raa Atoll islands in the Maldives on Vaadhoo Island. It is a small island with just over 500 inhabitants, but it has been firmly planted on the global map by its Sea of Stars phenomenon.

Vaadhoo island is famous for the 'sea of stars.' This marine bioluminescence is generated by phytoplankton known as dinoflagellates. 

It is a natural chemical reaction with a fancy name, bioluminescence, occurring when oxygen disturbs the water. Phytoplankton, the marine microorganisms in the water have a blue luminescence that occurs as they produce toxins that are harmful to fish, humans and other creatures, so even if they look beautiful and magical, they are not so friendly in fact.

The blue glow of the phytoplankton is like a mechanism of defense that prevents other marine organisms from eating them. Inside the fish that eat them, the phytoplankton will continue to glow, which in turn will cause larger predators to go after them. It's a situation of catch 22. 

As for how bioluminescence happens, that's where it gets complicated... As the phytoplankton floats, movement in the water sends electrical impulses around a proton-filled compartment inside them; electrical pulses open the voltage-sensitive proton ion channels into scintillons (the flashing unit inside them). The neon-blue light is created when luciferase is mixed with oxygen. 



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