Special Issues » Summer Guide

Natural bioluminescence lights up Space Coast waterways after dark

Sparkle plenty



You might already know that the waters around the Space Coast, including the Banana River, the Indian River and the Mosquito Lagoon near Titusville, are full of bioluminescence after dark – every movement in the water produces an eerie, sparkly light, thanks to photoluminescent plankton and jellyfish. Trust us, though, your out-of-town relatives don't. Photos of the phenomenon aren't easy to capture but gain you instant social media bragging rights. And since we are all living our lives on screens this summer anyway, here's a good chance to light up your feed with an underwater aurora borealis.

There are several companies that offer kayaking and paddling tours on the bioluminescent bays and rivers – you'll find plenty at visitspacecoast.com – but we'll leave it to your comfort level whether you want to engage in group activities. If you can manage to stay masked until you get in the water, individual kayaks will naturally enforce at least six feet of separation from others, though.

It's a summertime thing, best experienced on dark nights between May and November. Typically, five days after the full moon is the best times to go, so check your lunar calendar – and don't skimp on the bug spray.

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