A Florida kayaker captured on video his recent interaction with what appeared to be a “glowing” dolphin.
Justin Buzzi of Port St. Lucie, Fla., was with a group on a recent kayaking outing in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge on the Florida coast east of Orlando when he first spotted the dolphin, which appeared to be glowing blue, around 11 p.m.
Buzzi had similar interactions before and knew instantly what he was seeing.
“I’ve seen them hunting fish in the bioluminescence before,” he said, “so I was hoping we’d see the dolphin come close by while chasing the fish.”
As Buzzi referenced, the dolphin appeared to “glow” thanks to the presence of microbes in the water called phytoplankton — tiny marine bacteria, plants or animals, according to the Smithsonian Institution.
The most common of these is dinoflagellates and when dolphins swim through dinoflagellates, they emit a bioluminescent light.
The dolphins then reflect that light and thus appear to “glow.”
Buzzi owns and operates a “Get Up And Go Kayaking,” franchise. It’s a kayaking tour company which uses kayaks made of clear polycarbonate to give users a unique look at the underwater world beneath them.
“It was super exciting when (the dolphin) was only feet away from my kayak under the water, but still glowing,” Buzzi said.