It was a beautiful day in South Goa. Just after the monsoon and it was empty and green. I am not a fan of the crowded Goan beaches and the party scene there. South Goa during the offseason is magical and what we saw that night made me realise how beautiful the coastline is.
We went to Beetalbatim beach to see the sunset. We wanted to shoot some fun long exposure images on the beach and decided to stay back after the sunset, and it was the best decision we ever took! Just as soon as the sun went under the horizon and the last ray of sunshine disappeared, the waves started to look brighter. We initially thought it was the moon’s reflection on the waves and as it got darker, we realised its non-other than the beautiful Bioluminescence.
Imagine seeing this beautiful phenomenon in one of the most famous beach city in India. What is Bioluminescence?
There is a natural microorganism called Phytoplanktons which are present inside the ocean/wet areas. With waves when they hit the store, it disturbs the organism which leads to the emission of light. These bright blue lights are called Bioluminescence.
Bioluminescence appears in different parts of the world. At some places, you’d have to go night kayaking, and when you row the boat, you see the lights glowing. There is a place called the Mosquito Bay in Puerto Rico where you can swim in a part of the ocean, and when you do, with your hand movement, you can see the beautiful bioluminescence lights.
There is a night scuba diving activity (only for certified divers) where you can swim be inside the water and see the bioluminescence around you.
We got very excited and were clicking pictures of this fantastic glowing beach in South goa when a bunch of boys approached us and asked us what they are seeing is real. He said that since it looked so unnatural and he had to make sure he wasn't hallucinating. This Goan boy had seen nothing like that in goa before.
The night got darker, and we noticed that the lights got brighter. It was glowing like a tube light was inside the waves. It was starting to be brighter towards the other side of the beach. So we packed our camera and ran towards the other side. One of my friends noticed that when we are walking on the sandy beach, the area surrounding our feet started to glow. Imagine you are on a beach that glows and there's nobody on the beach but you. Such a magical moment and would never forget that feeling. We had our avatar moment.
After the initial excitement, we settled down and decided to enjoy our own private light and sight show put up by nature. The colour of the bioluminescence was a shade of faint blue that night. It got stronger and wilder with time. It started spreading between the waves. When tide got higher, and the lights got closer and more prominent. These lights were one of the most beautiful things I had seen in my life after the Northern Lights in Finland.
The world is full of surprises like these. It gives it to you when you least expect it. What we saw that night made me realise that the world is ethereal and magical. We consider ourselves very lucky to have been at the right beach, at the right time, with the right kinds of equipment to shoot something like this. Did we get lucky or did we get lucky? :)
So go out there, stay a little longer on the beach, wait for the crowd to leave, do things you feel like and not what is supposed to done and wait for the world to surprise you.
If you want to see something like this in India, Plan a trip to a relatively empty beach just after the monsoon or during the monsoon and stay back after the sunset. If you are lucky, you might see what we did :)
by Priya Bala
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