Bioluminescence Florida – When Can You View This Amazing Wonder?

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In this guide, we will discuss where to find Bioluminescence Florida, what causes it, and some of the best ways to enjoy it. If you’re looking for a unique experience while visiting Florida, be sure to check out the bioluminescent waters!

This phenomenon can be found in various places around the state and is something that you won’t want to miss.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!

Suppose you have never done kayaking in the bioluminescent glow at night.

In that case, you are yet to encounter one more unforgettable experience that you should be having on your bucket list already!

Imagine every swirl of your hand and every paddle stroke glowing in the dark like an underwater laser light show- thrilling, right?

Don’t get carried away just yet!

First, let’s understand the basics of bioluminescence.

  • What is it?
  • When can you see it in Florida?
  • How does it happen?

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Does Florida have bioluminescent water?

bioluminescence Florida

Essentially, bioluminescence is a one-of-a-kind natural phenomenon that involves the biochemical emission of light by living organisms such as deep-sea fish and glow worms.

It is one of the most magnificent happenings, and experiencing such is like witnessing magic happen right before your eyes. Bioluminescent kayak trips have proved over the years to be widely popular along Florida’s Space Coast.

Every adventurer who’s experienced it will tell you of one of the most stunning and striking phenomena created by the glowing algae during the darkest of nights.

You’ve probably seen bioluminescence before, maybe not in the water, but still one.

Have you ever seen a firefly?

Well, that’s what I’m talking about.

Bioluminescence is the light produced by a living organism.

What’s even more exciting is that bioluminescence is not as rare as you may think in the rivers and oceans of Florida.

There are several kinds of animals that have some of their families that are bioluminescent.

The extent of the functions of bioluminescence in living organisms is not all known.

Still, it is essential to know that aside from using it to lure their prey, most species in Florida only use bioluminescence for communication, mainly to warn or evade predators.

So, you may be wondering, when is the opportune time to see bioluminescence in Florida?

Notably, bioluminescent organisms are warm weather lovers.

Consequently, you want to do bioluminescent kayaking in Florida during the warmer summer month after the sun’s setting. More specifically, you can opt to do so from mid-May through the summer till early October.

According to scientists, you will see the most activity five days after the full moon of the month.

You will realize that this light in the water appears blue.


Simple- because of the difference in wavelengths.

Animals emit different colors, those with shorter wavelengths and longer wavelengths that may appear purple and red.

Such wavelengths are absorbed into the water and filtered out to the human eye.

However, because of the intermediate wavelength of the light emitted, blue light travels the fastest. This explains why the ocean also appears blue every other day.

Where in Florida can I see bioluminescence?


Although they are considered quite rare, bioluminescence in Florida still exists.

Brevard County, Florida, is one of the best places to find the plankton and their magical lights near Orlando.

Popularly recognized as Space Coast, this county is home to Cocoa Beach, Indian River Lagoon, and Merritt Island.

Remarkable, these three water bodies are full of glowing algae because of their high salt content.

These three water bodies come alive after sunset during the summer, thanks to the dinoflagellates in the water.

The Indian River Lagoon comprises three lagoons, the Mosquito Lagoon, The Indian River, and the Banana River.

The Indian River Lagoon homes more than 4300 species of plants and animals together with the plankton that causes bioluminescence, one of the most diverse places in the Northern Hemisphere.

Owing to its isolated waterways, the Indian River Lagoon stands out as one of the perfect places to go bioluminescent kayaking in Florida.

Cocoa Beach features one of the best surfing spots in all of Florida.

One thing of importance is that the shores are the last great place to catch a view of bioluminescence in Florida.

You will need to venture around Cape Canaveral, specifically the Banana River Aquatic Preserve, for the best views.

Due to the flanks on both sides, its isolated nature makes it perfect for bioluminescent kayaking in Florida.

One of the prettiest islands in Florida, a land initially set aside as a national reserve, is the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge.

If you would like the best view of bioluminescence on this Island, explore the Haulover Canal, situated right in the middle of the canal.

Do you know why?

You get the best chance because the canal is basically acres of nothingness and will therefore be pitch black with no form of light pollution!

Also Read: What beaches have bioluminescence?

What do you wear to bioluminescent kayaking?

The natives of Florida generally and lovingly refer to it as a “lawless swamp”. Consequently, you need to prepare well. Start by taking cover from the elements, especially the bugs.

Protection against insects, a bug repellant, in this case, is an absolute must. Bug repellants will come in handy when you go out into Florida’s freshwater bodies.

Water or river shoes should be your best choice for this trip.

You surely do not want all that sand and river mud between your toes the entire night! Because you are to have to take your kayak out.

When it comes to clothes, go for fabrics that dry quickly. It’s a given that you will be a little wet, and it will be particularly uncomfortable if your clothes can’t just dry.

Forget about the bikinis and bathing suits.

This is not the time for such; in fact, long-sleeved attires are highly recommended.

In the same light, ensure you carry a dry change of clothes and a towel in the car if you get wetter than you anticipated.

You do not want to be driving home in wet clothes at night, do you?

If you are planning to do kayaking alone, you definitely want to bring along your glow sticks.

You will separate very easily from your group if you are not on tour, and some glow sticks will go a long way in keeping you lit just enough to see the bioluminescence still.

Throw in a life vest, too, while at it, and you are all ready to go!

Wrapping Up…

Bioluminescence Florida is a must-see for anyone visiting the state. The phenomenon is not only beautiful but also mysterious and intriguing.

Be sure to do your research before heading out, so that you can make the most of your experience. With a little planning, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time!

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