Saturday, October 31, 2009

Umi Hotaru: Sea Fireflies

Last night we took a trip to the mainland.

On the way back to Shiraishi Island, at about 11:00 pm, the phosphorescence in the water was very bright. This photo is looking down at the water from the side of the boat. You don't have to be on a boat to see the phosphorescence, however. You can set it off by throwing a stone into the water from the beach or by just walking in the shallow water--anything that causes the water to stir. But nothing compares to the brightness a boat creates as it plows through the water at a good speed.

Some people go night kayaking to see this phenomenon. It is quite beautiful as each time you put your paddle in the water, it is rewarded with a spray of underwater light. On the island, they call this phosphorescence "umi hotaru" or sea fireflies.

1 comment:

froggy said...

I first saw St. Elmos' fire while wading in the ocean on Long Island,
N.Y. It is an hypnotising phenominum.
Sailors, long ago, used to be amazed by it "lighting" the masts and sails of their ships.

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