Porto Selvaggio Park, Salento, Southern Italy, March 2017. Residents and tourists were shocked last month when they discovered the Ionian Sea turning electric blue during night. In the last few days, red seaweeds spotted on the water surface alarmed local people, but they didn’t know what it would happen next. During night the coastline “magically” surrounded by an amazing electric blue colour, but it wasn’t an alien invasion. In this article we will show you the stunning pictures of this transformation (shot by Quintino Mita) and will explain you what happened, why the water is turning blue during night in front of Torre Uluzzo.
Porto Selvaggio is known as the most beautiful oasis in Salento (Southern Italy, within the district of Nardò, province of Lecce). With 1000 hectares of park, this place is appreciated for the sea, its immense visual impact and its tranquillity.
So, what’s making the sea a shining electric blue? The answer may brake the magic: the responsible is a micro-algae called “noctiluca scintillans“. Commonly known as the sea sparkle and also published as Noctiluca miliaris, it is a free-living, nonparasitic, marine-dwelling species of dinoflagellate that exhibits bioluminescence when disturbed (popularly known as mareel). Its bioluminescence is produced throughout the cytoplasm of this single-celled protist, by a luciferin-luciferase reaction in thousands of spherically shaped organelles, called scintillons.
As the temperature rise, approaching the spring season, this micro-algae grows and the result is this astonishing vision.
So, enjoy the photo gallery and share it with your friends: you may eventually travel to Italy and be so lucky to experience directly the show.