Chemistry makes lake glow indark

Chemistry makes a lake glow in the dark

11:09 PM, 9th January 2012
Chemistry makes a lake glow in the dark
Blue rinse: The swimmers look like they have been playing with radioactive paint as they take on a fluorescent glow. (C) Daily Mail News.

 

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Swimming is supposed to give you a healthy glow, but these swimmers weren’t quite sure what was going on when they took a late-night dip and turned a fluorescent shade of blue. “It was like we were playing with radioactive paint,” said Phil Hart, the photographer who snapped the bizarre sight as his friends emerged from a lake in the dark of night. The light is created by a chemical reaction called bioluminescence, which happens when a naturally-occuring micro-organism in the water is disturbed.

Phil (34), put his camera on a very slow shutter speed and threw sand and stones into the water to cause the reaction and capture as much of the blue haze as possible. These images are particularly stunning because the concentration of the micro-organism “Noctiluca Scintillans” was abnormally high when he took the photos at Gippsland Lakes in Victoria, Australia. “To be there watching this bioluminescence is spellbinding. I am a programme director with an organisation that has been running canoeing camps on the Gippsland Lakes for 50 years. Nobody can remember the bioluminescence ever being as bright as this,” said Phil.

 

Phil threw sand and stones into the water to cause the reaction and capture the blue haze, as well as an unexpected heavenly reaction.

It is believed the combination of bushfires and floods created the high levels of nutrients in the lakes for the organisms to feed. “While the luminescence was obvious to the eye, the bright blue colour is only apparent in photos. When the first photo I took appeared on screen I could hardly believe it - the people in the water looked freakish,” added Phil.

(C) Daily Mail News 

 

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