If you’re planning an Orlando vacation, be sure to check out attractions that are off the beaten path. Florida is full of natural wonders, and one in particular that you should plan to see is located just a short drive from Orlando on the Space Coast.
During the warm summer months, a particular type of plankton called dinoflagellates turn the waters of the Merrit Island National Wildlife Refuge into a beautiful display of color. When moved or disturbed, the plankton emits beautiful bluish-green lights called bioluminescence. Additionally, tiny creatures called comb jellies (which do not sting like traditional jellyfish) emit a similar glow when disturbed.
While this phenomenon is famous for happening in places like Puerto Rico, you can experience it right here in Central Florida while kayaking.
The beautiful glow of these tiny organisms is best viewed in Merrit Island because of the lack of artificial light at night. Back in 1962, NASA acquired 140,000 acres of land in the Cape Canaveral area to create the John F. Kennedy Space Center. As a result, there are large amounts of undeveloped land, water, and marshes that have become a wildlife refuge, so the amount of light pollution is very low.
Planning Your Bioluminescent Adventure
If you decide to embark on a bioluminescence tour, keep in mind that it will be so dark that capturing the glow with a camera won’t be possible. Instead, enjoy the moment and take home memories that will last a lifetime.
Bioluminescence is most visible when there is absolutely no light, so try to schedule your tour on a night where the moon is less than full to get the complete effect.
There are a variety of different bioluminescent tours available in the area that will take you to see light shows put on by both dinoflagellates and comb jellies. Primetime for bioluminescence tours is June through the first part of October, and be sure to bring bug spray to ward off the infamous Florida mosquitoes!
When planning your Orlando getaway, remember that the Rosen Inn is your perfect solution for affordable luxury right in the heart of Orlando. Rooms are filling up fast, so call us today at (407) 996-4444 to book your stay.