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17th June 2015uv-light

The latest craze right now sweeping Koh Taob is UV night dives. Fluorescence is a phenomenon that occurs when we shine blue, near UV lights on the corals. Some of the corals have a certain protein that absorbs the blue light and re-emit the light in a different wavelength (colour). This causes the corals to glow in the most amazing colours like green, yellow, orange and some even pink or red. Corals that normally appear dull brown in the daytime or under white light can take on vivid rainbow hues.

Using special blue UV light torches and funky yellow visors that go over your normal mask you’ll see a magical array of psychedelic colours. With glowing coral, sponges, fish, shrimps, crabs and other sea life, you won’t be disappointed. By the way, this is not the bioluminescence that you see on some night dives, it is only visible using the blue light torches and mask filters. Divers still use normal torches so they can compare the differences. The phenomenon of coral fluorescence is still full of mystery and the reasons why certain coral fluoresce are to this date unknown, could it be that the corals are protecting themselves from sunburn and coral bleaching? Does the fluorescence help the corals with photosynthesis in dark places? Do the anemones lure food into their stinging tentacles by attracting them with the fluorescence? What is the reason that a shrimps’ pinchers shine a fluorescent yellow? How come a scorpion fish that does its utmost to blend in with its surroundings emits a bright pink colour under a UV light? Some scientist and researchers speculate that the fish could be communicating through fluorescence. It is truly fascinating and just goes to show that we still have absolutely no idea about the complexities of this ecosystem we play in every day.

Big Blue Conservation offers UV night dives now and are available on request with our Divemasters. You do need to be an advanced diver to do UV night dives. You will be in for a treat and be blown away!!


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Read 723 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 October 2017 08:24