Can I see bioluminescence tonight?

Original article date: 8 March 2022.

Updated on 6 february 2023. 


It's a hot summer, so there's a good chance you can see bioluminescences on the coast!

What is bioluminescence?

Bioluminescencele is a mini algae species. These algae are less than half a millimeter in size and are common in seawater during the spring and summer. These algae give clear blue light in the sea, this is especially visible when you walk through the water or in the waves, for example.


When can bioluminescence be seen?

Bioluminescences are mainly found in the sea in warm weather and when there has been no wind. When the weather is rough (for example, a lot of wind) the algae prefer to go deeper into the sea.


Is there a chance of bioluminescence tonight?

Bioluminescence is a beautiful nature phenomenon. It's hard to tell if there's bioluminescencele tonight because the best thing to do is go to the sea to see it for yourself! However we have prepared a checklist of the best chances of seeing bioluminescenceles:


Bioluminescence is best seen:

- in hot weather / high temperatures. It is even better if the weather has been warm for 2 days or more in a row.

- if there is no wind or if there is no strong wind

- if it hasn't rained

Does the day meet these criteria? Then there is chance to see bioluminescence but we can never be 100% sure.


What are the best places to see a bioluminescence in the Netherlands?

Places where a lot of bioluminescences are reported:

Katwijk, Terschelling, Bloemendaal, Langevelderslag, Egmond and Petten.

Bioluminescence can be seen all along the North Sea coast, but these are the locations where we often see reports.


Is it safe to swim in the sea when there is bioluminescence?

With the bright blue light, the bioluminescence algae try to scare off their enemies. They hope other animals think bioluminescencele is poisonous. Small groups of bioluminescences are not harmful to humans, so you can safely walk or swim through them if you wish!


Update on 6 February: on the 25th of January 2023 (winter time!) some bioluminescence was Spotted in the Netherlands, Katwijk! According to Zeevonk Alert there was a good visibility to see bioluminescence. The temperature was 0 degrees and there was no sunshine during the day. It seems like some bioluminescence fans were lucky to spot them! 


So you want to see bioluminescence tonight? Go to the beach. If it's not visible you can still have a great time on the beach! 

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