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13 Beautiful Photos of Beaches That Naturally Glow

If you need a reminder that nature is awesome, here are beautiful beaches around the world that naturally glow. Time to add these to your future travel bucket list!

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Bioluminescent phytoplankton
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Light up the night

Nature is full of beautiful wonders, including waters and sand that glow due to bioluminescence. From the United States to Australia and the beaches in between, here are a few stunning photos of beaches that glow at night. Who says you need to have sand for a beach to be beautiful? Here’s our list of beautiful beaches without sand.

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Gippsland Lakes
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Gippsland Lake, Australia

The first glowing beach on our list is in the Land Down Under. During the day, Gippsland Lake is like any other; you can swim, waterski, or sail. But at night, the landscape begins to glow due to bioluminescent algae. In 2006, massive rainstorms caused large amounts of organic matter to spill into the lake, and from there, the algae bloomed. It glows whenever the water is disturbed, but it has slowly faded with time, which is welcome news for the lake’s ecosystem. Here are 50 of the most beautiful quotes about nature to inspire you to appreciate the world around you.

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the maldives

The Maldives

This glowing beach in the Maldives is just one of the enchanting features of the nation. The sand on this beach glows in the dark because of ostracod crustaceans, or sea shrimp. These tiny organisms, only one millimeter in length, emit the blue light for up to a minute, lighting up your path as you walk across the beach. These glowing sand beaches don’t just occur in the Maldives; you can find them in Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Belgium, and San Diego, too. The Maldives is among these 14 breathtaking places to visit before they disappear.

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Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
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Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay is one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations, but it’s not just because of its infamous limestone islands covered in verdant rainforests. At night, boat tours take people out on the water to see the bioluminescent glow. When each swimmer splashes, the blue-green light from the algae emerges.

If you like these beaches, you might also appreciate these animals that glow in the dark.

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Fuzhou, China
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Fuzhou, China

The same algae and phytoplankton that inhabit the waters of the other glowing beaches are present in beaches near Fuzhou, China. Tourists and locals alike can glide through the gorgeous waters, leaving a trail of light in their wake. This spot makes for great photos! Looking for more beautiful places to discover? Here are 20 of the most beautiful natural pools in the world.

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Dongying, china
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Dongying, China

The dreamlike sea in Dongying, China gives us wanderlust unlike any other travel destination.  The glow-in-the-dark algae is found mostly on the rock formations along the shoreline, giving them a blue-green glow. Plus, it acts as a natural warning light if you’re swimming at night. You won’t want to miss the most gorgeous pink sand beaches in the world. Some of them even have some gorgeous pink waves.

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san diego
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San Diego, California

In April 2020, surfers from La Jolla to Encinitas began noticing that the ocean waves were glowing at night. Oceanographers discovered that there were immense amounts of dinoflagellates (bioluminescent algae) present in the San Diego waters. Scientists don’t know how long this glowing beach will continue to emit the light, since ocean ecosystems are still an enigma. Speaking of, here are some mysteries of the ocean scientists still can’t explain.

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Blue Glow Appears On Hong Kong's Shores
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Tai Po seashore, Hong Kong

Along the Tai Po seashore in Hong Kong at night, algal blooms make the water sparkle and appear blue. These are the 15 best beaches with the best seashells in the world.

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Fluorescent beach In Yellow Sea
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Yellow Sea, China

The Yellow Sea, located in the western Pacific Ocean near mainland China, lights up blue at night because of bioluminescence.

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Bioluminescence - Hobart, Tasmania
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Hobart, Tasmania

Certain places may look a certain way during the day and then transform at night into something else. On a beach in Hobart, Tasmania, bioluminescence glows along a beach with Mt. Wellington in the background. Check out some more incredible photos of the world’s most beautiful countries.

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Bioluminescence and meteor at Rodeo Beach
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Rodeo Beach, California

Seeing bioluminescence is one thing, but seeing bioluminescence in the presence of a shooting star is truly magical. Here are 20 of the most surreal natural phenomena, explained.

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Bioluminescent waves glow off Hermosa Beach, California
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Hermosa Beach, California

Spectators observe the bioluminescence at night off the coast of Hermosa Beach in California. If you’re looking for more beaches, here are the best beaches in every state.

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Bioluminescent Plankton South Wales 2019
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Southerndown, Wales

Bioluminescence happens all over the world, including this beach in Wales in June 2019. Here are 50 of the most beautiful quotes about nature.

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San Diego Red Tide
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South Ponto Beach, California

A bit north of San Diego lies South Ponto Beach, where the bioluminescence of an algae bloom can be seen along the beach in California.