The exotic, illuminated creatures known as Noctiluca scintillans are about as close as we get to magic in the developed world. In an act of defense, these tiny marine organisms glow bright blue when approached, a way of alerting their neighbors that a predator approaches. We humans appreciate them for their visual beauty, a capability to turn a calm seaside surf into a glowing force of nature. The Glowing Nature Photography by Phil Hart captures the Noctiluca scintillans in action. If you visit the Gippsland Lakes in Australia, you can see the same for yourself, and even take a dip with these creatures while they illuminate.
U.S. travelers can see the same in the bays of Puerto Rico, where such bioluminescence can be experienced firsthand. No matter where you try to find the rare Noctiluca scintillans, be sure to explore on a moonless night. While they might be bright and blue in these images, naturally-occurring light will make them harder to see in person. [via theage and notcot]