Did you know that the waters of the Mosquito Lagoon, Banana River, and Indian River Lagoon on the Space Coast are currently turning into magical light shows? Yes, you read that right! The phenomenon of bioluminescence is taking place, where living organisms emit light through chemical reactions in their bodies. It’s like a light show in the ocean! This incredible sight is made possible by luciferin, a molecule found in various marine organisms. When it reacts with oxygen, it produces a mesmerizing glow that lights up the night.
From June to October, you have the opportunity to witness this extraordinary spectacle on the Space Coast. The peak of the bioluminescence season in Florida is July to September. There are numerous tours available, from kayaking adventures to boat tours to tiki boat tours, where you can experience the bioluminescence up close. However, if you’re like us and aren’t sure how your kids will react while also wanting to save some money, you can also enjoy this magical phenomenon from the shore.
We decided to take a road trip to the Banana River, one and a half hours after sunset. We parked off the highway, away from the lights of the road as much as possible, to fully immerse ourselves in the experience. As soon as we got near the water, we could see the shrimp jumping and the blue lights illuminating the surface. It was like a fairy tale coming to life. For the next hour, we couldn’t resist playing in the enchanting waters. We skipped rocks, belly-flopped into the ocean, and swirled sticks and a fishing net to create ripples and sparkles. It felt like we were part of a magical world, where everything glowed in ethereal beauty. It was a truly unforgettable experience.
If you’ve never seen water shimmer like the stars in the night sky, I highly recommend heading over to the Space Coast for a fun and mesmerizing adventure. The best time to witness this breathtaking sight is when the moon is less bright, a few days before the new moon. However, even if the moon is only a little under 50% full, you can still enjoy the beauty of bioluminescence. You can check the lunar calendar HERE to help plan your trip, Don’t forget to bring mosquito repellent, though! These little critters are attracted to the bioluminescent organisms as well. But trust me, it’s totally worth it. The awe and wonder you’ll feel as you traverse the bioluminescent waters will make up for any bug bites.
While our visit was just a day trip, you can easily plan a longer vacation around this remarkable phenomenon. Spend the day exploring the Kennedy Space Center, then head over to the Space Coast to witness the bioluminescence at night. There are plenty of hotels nearby to make your stay comfortable and convenient. Just be sure to check the best viewing times and plan accordingly. So, get ready to be dazzled by nature’s own light show. Pack your bags, gather some friends or your loved ones, and set off on an adventure to the Space Coast. The magical waters of the Mosquito Lagoon, Banana River, and Indian River Lagoon await, ready to bewitch you with their luminous charm. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss!
This picture captures the water after a belly flop in the ocean.