As night falls on certain beaches around the world, the waves glow with an eerie blue light.
Tiny neon dots that make it look as though stars are washing up on the shore.
The phosphorescence only occurs when the microorganisms are agitated, such as when the water crashes onto the shore, or someone steps on the wet sand, or a paddle hits the waves.
The surreal scene arises not from magic, but from plankton that have evolved to glow in order to startle or distract fish and other potential predators.
Some of the most spectacular photographs have been captured from one location, Vaadhoo Island, Maldives, which has been nicknamed the sea of stars.
The Maldives is a tropical nation in the Indian Ocean, composed of 26 ring-shaped atolls which are made up of more than a thousand coral islands.
The spotting of the sea of stars is dependent on climate and the plankton growth throughout the year.
Visitors to the island have stated they have the most luck seeing the blue glow from about July to February, especially during a new moon since the darkness of the sky helps intensify the light.
The glowing waters are the main reason why Vaadhoo is one of the hottest tourist destinations in the world.
The glowing blue waters are caused by a natural chemical reaction known as bioluminescence.
When microorganisms in the water are disturbed by oxygen, the result is a glittering and sparkling seawater.
As the waves crash on the beach, the water glows in the dark and gives the impression it is acting like a mirror that reflects the sparkling stars above.
The phytoplankton's blue glow.
It's like a defense mechanism which wards off other marine organisms from eating them.
Although this phenomenon of bioluminescence blue glowing water occurs on many islands and locations around the world, it is extraordinary prominent on the island of Vaadhoo which only has a small population of about 550 people.
Bioluminescent plankton are highly unpredictable even in Maldives.
There is no time through the year that you can guarantee seeing it.
But as stated earlier, people have had the most luck between July and February.
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