Explorer’s Log : Sea Sparkles

Do you like watching stars in the night sky? If yes, I’m sure you would like to see those twinkles up closer! Then you should definitely find some time to see the Sea Sparkles!

Sea Sparkles, also known as Sea Tinkle and the Sea of Stars, is a free-living, nonparasitic, marine-dwelling species of planktons and micro-organisms that exhibits bioluminescence when disturbed and can be found in different places.


The Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives is one of the most famous places to see the Sea Sparkles. This beautiful blue glow creates a romantic landscape, thus making the island a famous honeymoon destination. Just imagine the scene from the movie “Life Of Pi”, you know how breathtaking this scenery actually is.


You can also find Sea Sparkles at the following places:

  • Matsu Islands and Kinmen Islands in Taiwan
  • Long Mei Beach, Sam Mun Tsai New Village and Tai Mei Tuk in Hong Kong
  • West Linda-Mar Bay in Calinfornia, U.S.
  • Gippsland Lakes in Victoria and Hobart in Tasmania, Australia


In the hopes of seeing the Sea Sparkles shine, some visitors will throw stones and kick sands so as to create splashes and disturb the planktons. However, this is a very dangerous move. With the surroundings being dark, you do not know if you will trip over or hurt yourself in other ways. Besides, there are locals in the area, thus such actions will not only affect the Sea Sparkles, but also disturb the people living in the area, or even harm their properties (for instance, fishing boats in Hong Kong are damaged by visitors who threw rocks at the sea to create ripples.) So our recommendation would be to let the tides create the ripples on their own.



There is a sad side to this beautiful phenomenon; red algae bloom at a much quicker pace and cause “the red tide”. This is in fact not a healthy situation for the ocean, for this planktons and the algae are growing too quickly and disrupting the balance of the marine habitat. “The red tide” will cling onto the gills of fishes, and make them die due to failure to breath properly. Also, as the Sea Sparkles die, they will decompose and release substances that change the nature of sea water. When there is too much of such substances, the marine ecosystem will be harmed greatly.

While it’s a stunning picture created by the nature, we hope that such phenomenon will not appear in more places.




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