What is the‘Glowing Blue Beach’ and Where is it?
Have you heard of the secret glow in the dark / glowing blue beach in the Maldives? It is certainly a magical area that would make you wonder if the stars have fallen down to earth! This beach has garnered international notoriety in the recent past and still intrigues many a traveller for its unique glow under the night sky. But what is it and how does this phenomenon occur?
What is it?
Scientifically speaking, this is a phenomenon called ‘bioluminescence’ and is found in phytoplankton/plankton. This microscopic species of marine algae naturally radiates a vibrant blue, which is best seen under darkness. They are often found on the ocean floor and near the shoreline, and are considered a vital part of the aquatic food chain.
This phytoplankton can be witnessed all over the world, including countries like the USA, Australia, Vietnam, Jamaica and Thailand. In the Maldives, these species dwell on one particular island, making it one of the most unique spectacles in the whole country.
Where Exactly is it Located?
The glowing beach is located on Vaadhoo Island in Raa Atoll. As it is mainly populated by locals and with no luxury resort, travellers don’t often visit the island – unless of course it is to witness the blue beach. Located in close proximity to Malé, the island can be easily reached in just under 15 minutes if you’re travelling by speedboat.
The island alone is a unique one where you can also witness the local culture and lifestyle of the people. If you are one of those travellers looking to go off-the-beaten-path, this is a great island to explore, apart from the glowing beach.
A Tourist Attraction
Due to its radiant glow at night, it looks as if the starry night sky is reflected on the sea. Thus, the reason for it being called ‘the sea of stars’.
If you’re visiting Maldives with your partner, the beach provides a romantic setting for a candlelit dinner. The restaurants located nearby will be happy to set out a table on the sand for you.
Travellers looking to experience the unique phenomenon flock to the beach strip as well. Some of the many activities to partake in are swimming, dinner on the beach and strolling along the shore. A midnight stroll, in particular, allows you to watch your footprints glow on the sand, which is really quite magical. A swim will allow you to get up close with the slow crashing waves which glow as well. Make sure you do so with caution though, as there are no lifeguards around at this time.
Many travellers who have witnessed the natural phenomenon say that the experience was “otherworldly’ and “picturesque”. The ‘sea of stars’ has also been featured in the award-winning film ‘The Life of Pi’
Best Time to Visit
The beach can be visited at any time of the day, however, it is during the night that you can witness the radiant glow. Moreover, it is best seen between June and October.
What to Bring?
Your camera is what should come into mind first, since this is a spectacle that can be seen only in a few countries. Moreover, if you are planning on staying on the island, make sure you bring light and comfortable clothing since it can be very hot during the day. It is important to keep in mind that since this is an island inhabited by the local population, you need to be dressed in modest attire, in line with the local culture.
There you have it! A simple guide about the fabled ‘glowing blue beach’ of the Maldives.