Far off in a tiny island of the Maldives exists what may be the most magical place on earth - a whimsical beach speckled with billions of "stars" that naturally glow at night.
The Sea of Stars in Vaadhoo Island is a bioluminescent beach. On a regular day, the beach looks like one you'd expect to see on a tropical island, with crystal clear waters, palm trees and white sands:
But when dusk falls, the waves start to fluoresce a bright, royal blue colour. The change is so drastic that it almost seems unreal, but the phenomenon can be explained with some simple science.
The waters haven't been manually altered in any way whatsoever. Rather, the glowing is caused by a group of microorganisms called phytoplankton - more specifically, dinoflagellates - which capable of carrying out a natural chemical reaction that causes them to emit light.
Dinoflagellates use this as a defence mechanism to deter predators - if fish eat them, they will end up glowing and be at higher risk of being predated themselves. The reaction occurs when the water is disturbed by oxygen, and the result is a shoreline dotted with bright blue "stars" that glow in the dark and resemble the galaxies in the sky above.
The spotting of the sea stars depends entirely on climate and plankton growth throughout the year. Although Vaadhoo Island is rather remote (it only has a total of 500 inhabitants), there are some resorts near the shore that you can book a stay at, such as the W Maldives.
I guess a trip to the Maldives is in order!