Dolphins Swimming Through Glowing Blue Bioluminescence At Night Looks Like An Alien Planet

bioluminescence in water

iStockphoto / PawelG Photo

Experiencing glowing blue bioluminescence up close is the thrill of a lifetime but getting to see dolphins swimming through it at night is something out of many people’s wildest dreams. In fact, the glowing blue auras of the dolphins is so surreal it looks like the movie Avatar on an alien planet.

Photographer Josh Gravely who goes by @joshg_photos on TikTok has gone viral with a video of exactly that, a dolphin swimming through the microorganisms that are lighting up the ocean with their naturally occurring bioluminescence. I’ve only experience this firsthand once in Florida and it was years ago. But we dove into the water on the beach at Sanibel and it lit up blue like nothing I’d ever seen before.


While in florida, I got to film bottlenose dolphins swimming in bioluminescence!! Bucket list item ✅ #dolphin #bioluminescence #redtide #ocean #floridacheck

♬ Jacob and the Stone – Emile Mosseri

The video of dolphins swimming in bioluminescence was by far the most viral video of the lot, but he was able to capture several videos on TikTok that illustrated just how surreal it is seeing bioluminescence in person, whether or not there are dolphins.

Paddling a kayak in the glowing blue waters:


Kayaking through bioluminescence with distant lightning!! This was definitely a bucket list item to experience and film! #bioluminescence#florida#clearkayak

♬ together (Instrumental Version) – Ziggy Alberts

Swimming as if they were on Pandora in Avatar:


Swimming through biolumimescence!! 🙌🏻 #bioluminescence #florida

♬ mirage – théos & Antent

It is possible to seek this out. There’s a place in Puerto Rico where tourists can reliably see bioluminescence in the waters should they want to look into it.

I should also mention that ‘bioluminescence’ here is sort of a catchall term. In this instance I’m referring to the naturally glowing organisms in the water. But it occurs in fireflies (beetles), worms, and other creatures.