The magazine for the modern naturalist About Contact Back issues Shop Help Subscribe

"British Wildlife is the pulsating heart of the UK nature conservation movement"

Matthew Oates, National Trust

"The most important and informative publication on wildlife of our times"

Michael McCarthy, The Independent

"Packed with readable, thoughtful, up to date articles; written by ecologists and naturalists for ecologists and naturalists"

Nick Baker, Presenter and Naturalist

From issue:   Issue:   British Wildlife 33.8 August 2022

Looking for that spark: bioluminescent plankton in British seas

By - Guy Freeman

Ocean bioluminescence has captivated observers for hundreds of years, with the first account originating from Ancient Greece in around 500 BCE. Guy Freeman reviews early observations of this phenomenon and the attempts to unravel its mystery, and explores the occurrence of ocean bioluminescence in British seas.

It is past 1am, but the seafront is still busy. The crowd includes a handful of anglers, and scattered beachgoers who, through barbecues and then bonfires, have extended a day’s sunbathing deep into the night. But these are outnumbered by another group, here for a quite different reason: plankton. And tonight, they are in luck – their quarry has arrived and is beginning to reveal itself.

Buy this issue Subscribe now

"British Wildlife is the pulsating heart of the UK nature conservation movement."

Matthew Oates, National Trust

"The most important and informative publication on wildlife of our times"

Michael McCarthy, The Independent

"Packed with readable, thoughtful, up to date articles; written by ecologists and naturalists for ecologists and naturalists"

Nick Baker, Presenter and Naturalist