About Bioluminescent Kayak Tours
The Indian River Lagoon is an estuary that is fed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean making it a unique natural habitat. The high salt content in the water here makes it a perfect home for dinoflagellates which create a natural light (bioluminescence) to protect themselves. The lagoon is one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in North America and has been the main source of research about bioluminescent dinoflagellates for decades.
Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism. It is a form of chemiluminescence. In the water, bioluminescence is common among marine vertebrates and invertebrates, and also in some fungi, and other microorganisms such as bacteria. Many terrestrial invertebrates also exhibit bioluminescence, such as fireflies.
A Fantastic Location for Bioluminescent Tours
See the water light up as luminous sea life surrounds your kayak. This tour is often called “the best thing to do in Florida for vacation.” See this natural nighttime spectacle as you paddle around the warm waters of the Indian River Lagoon. Moonlight effects this tour and how brightly you will see the bioluminescence. The less moonlight, the brighter the bio luminous sea creatures will appear.
Bioluminescent Kayak Tour Details
Bioluminescent jellyfish are really just jellies (NOT jelly fish – they do not sting). These prehistoric sea creatures, called Comb Jellies, have been on the planet for over 500 million years. As the waters of the Indian River Lagoon cool down, the Comb Jellies move in. Depending on how warm in gets, we start seeing glowing plankton as early as March.
In the early days of summer, the bioluminescent algae begin to show, and by the height of summer, it shines and sparkles bright when it is stirred with you kayak paddle, hand, or even the myriad of Mullet fish flying around. The glowing plankton is amazingly bright in July and August.
- Location: Merritt Island, Florida
- Class: River with occasionally moderate or high waves.
- Distance Paddled: varies.
- Water: brackish.
- Wildlife: Manatees, birds (Egrets, Herons, etc.), alligators, turtles, Water Moccasins, Mangroves, salt marsh grasses, scrub oaks.
Difficulty Level: Easy to moderate.