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Photographer Captures the Beauty of Bioluminescent Plankton


There are certain kinds of plankton that glow when they’re disturbed by movement. Photographer Kris Williams recently went out to a shore in Wales and captured a set of photos and videos showing the beauty of this bioluminescent plankton.

Williams is a landscape and nightscape photographer based on Anglesey, an island on the north coast of Wales. He has found that his local beach (Penmon Point) is always a good spot to find bioluminescent plankton, as it gets caught in the bay instead of getting swept out in the current.

Since the plankton emit light when they’re disturbed, they turn waves washing onto shore into sparkling blue light shows. Wading into the water, stirring water with your hand, and throwing rocks into the ocean also cause mesmerizing light displays to appear.

“You can scoop the water up in your hands and see the plankton covering your fingers like tiny stars, or swim in the water and watch as the waves light up where you swim through them,” Williams tells PetaPixel. “It really is something magical to see and experience!”

Here’s a 5-minute video Williams made with a compilation of clips showing the glowing plankton in real-time:

Everything you see was shot with a Sony a7S camera and a Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 lens.

You can find more of Williams’ work on his Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.

Image credits: Photographs and video by Kris Williams and used with permission