THE LUMINESCENT PLANKTON IN L’AMETLLA DE MAR
Want to see luminescent plankton with your own eyes? We invite you to discover this beautiful phenomenon that you may have observed while walking along the beaches of l’Ametlla de Mar and feeling almost like an astronaut in the middle of a galaxy of stars. We will explain what this luminescent plankton is.
To start, let's see where the word Plankton comes from:
This term comes from the Greek word plankton which can be translated as that which "wanders".
Plankton is a group of organisms that move carried by ocean currents and winds (including bacteria, viruses, microbes, and small animals). This plankton serves as food for practically all animals and elements of marine life that can exist.
There is on the one hand the plankton animalozooplankton and on the other the plankton vegetalophytoplankton.
The plankton phytoplankton, which also comes from the Greek term φύτοπλαγκτον [phytoplankton] (φυτόν [phyton] means plant) produces 50% of the oxygen necessary for life on Earth and absorbs much of the carbon dioxide present on the surface of the planet while decreasing the greenhouse effect. It is produced by photosynthesis in coastal waters of the sea through solar light and abundant mineral salts (waters up to 30 m deep) and serves as food for zooplankton.
Due to the increase in ultraviolet radiation, it has experienced a significant decrease. Specifically, under the hole in the ozone layer in Antarctica, phytoplankton productivity decreased between 6% and 12%.
Now that we know what plankton is, why does it look like the photo? What makes plankton luminescent?
Bioluminescence occurs where there is an exchange of fresh and salt water with a narrow inlet, high content of inorganic nutrients and surrounded by mangroves, as well as high content of phosphorus, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia and vital vitamins such as vitamin B12.
Plankton was born as an organism millions and millions of years ago, and although humans are hindering their existence, they are still an essential part of our food chain and ultimately of our survival. If there are no plankton, there is no food for millions of marine species, rays, whales, cetaceans ... that is why we have to take care of our seas and respect them.
At Ametlla Diving we offer you the perfect dive to enjoy this beautiful natural element.