How does this phenomenon happen? What causes the light? How is this even possible? What is the source of it? Is this rare to see? Is this real?
We hear a lot of questions as you might expect about how the lagoon glows and what causes this effect. Here we break down some science behind it.
From information given by scientists from the John Hopkins University, the eerie glow comes from small micro-organisms that emit a flash of light when disturbed. Jamaica's Luminous Lagoon is one of many places around the globe that experience this type of event regularly. These microscopic organisms live and create this natural ocean phenomenon, know as bio-luminescence. It's said that out of the many places this is seen in the world, Jamaica's is one of the brightest - a fact that has and continues to awe scientists and visitors alike.
The Luminous Lagoon stretches along the marshlands from the small community of Rock to the town of Falmouth, Trelawny Parish. Over the years, scientists from around the world have come to the Luminous Lagoon to investigate and research this phenomenon. Their studies show that the lagoon is the best place to see these microscopic organisms, called dinoflagellates or pryodinium bahamene, because of two reasons. First, there are literally millions of these tiny micro-organisms living in the lagoon. Second, the lagoon is formed at the point where the Martha Brae River meets the Caribbean Sea, and the dinoflagellates thrive in the layers where the salt and fresh waters combine into brakish waters. These micro-organisms glow brightest in the shallow, warm water, and the overall depth of the lagoon is generally about 3-8 feet, or more, but not very deep at all.