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Sea of stars Maldives: all you need to know about it

The sea of stars Maldives is a very rare and beautiful natural phenomenon that should be seen when you visit Maldives.

It is something magic that will take your breath away, equally spectacular and miraculous as the northern lights dancing on the arctic sky.

The sea of the stars Maldives is also visible during the day, but the real show starts when night comes.

Millions of organisms in light on the white sandy beaches glow uniquely and fascinatingly.

The sea of stars in the Maldives

This is a chemical reaction produced by the bioluminescent phytoplankton that is most spectacular at night.

The Maldives islands in the Indian Ocean are one of the best places on Earth to witness this fabulous natural phenomenon.

For the full guide about the bioluminescent and the chemical reaction and where to go to see it, continue riding this article.

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What is the Maldives sea of stars

This natural phenomenon generally appears during late summer in the Maldives’ reef and is caused by bioluminescent plankton called Lingulodinium polyedrum.

The sea plankton, called phytoplankton, consists of billions of live micro-organisms in the oceans and represents the main food source for many marine creatures, including whales.

What makes this plankton special is that it can generate light when the organisms are stressed by the wave movement.

Maldives Sea of stars
Maldives Sea of stars

Believe it or not, this is the micro-organisms’ way of defending themselves against potential predators by looking like fireflies.

The color of the bioluminescent is a neon blue light, one that radiates each time when the organisms are hit by the waves.

It is a unique phenomenon that is quite hard to see, so consider yourself lucky if you can see the sea of stars in the Maldives on your next trip.

For those of you who don’t have the opportunity to spot this beautiful show, we recommend watching the movie Life of Pi from 2012 as there are some wonderful scenes with it.

What causes the incredible sea of the stars Maldives?

The organisms that inlight the beach once in a while are the Lingulodium polyedrum, as these are the only ones that can generate light.

The light is generated by a chemical reaction that takes place when the waves hit the plankton.

sea of stars in Maldives
sea of stars in Maldives

Here is how things happen: the microorganisms glow after they come into contact with the oxygen introduced into the water by the current movement.

They the oxygen reaches these organisms, they charge with electrical impulses and produce light.

It is a defense mechanism used by microorganisms to protect themselves against predators.

When does the sea of stars Maldives occur?

We are talking about a natural phenomenon, so it is extremely hard to name an exact day of the week when you can see the sea of stars.

What I can tell you for sure is that the occurrence of the lights is as hard to see as the Northern lights, or even harder.

Sea of stars Maldives Bio Luminiscence
Sea of stars in Maldives Bio Luminiscence

The appearance of the organisms is influenced by several factors, out of which the most important are:

  • The year climate, especially for late summer
  • The growth of phytoplankton which can indirectly affect the weather
  • The water temperature
  • The water PH

The end of summer is the best period to see this natural show and Vaadhoo Island from the Raa Atoll is the most popular place.

You have higher chances to spot these lights from June to October, but it is a matter of luck, and you will need more time to guarantee that you will be witness to this event.

These are the new essentials you have to pack for your trip

Can visitors swim in the sea of stars in Maldives?

The answer is “yes, they can” as the micro-organisms are not dangerous for the human body.

If you choose to swim in the ocean during the night, the motion created by you within the water amplifies the blue glow and pulse so that you will have a spectacular show of lights around you.

The water movement stresses the micro-organisms, which leads to more intense light and an interesting spectacle.

sea of stars Maldives
sea of stars the Maldives

The movement of the water generates electrical impulses around a proton-filled compartment of the plankton that cause the PH to change.

The PH in contact with water created a chemical reaction, making these organisms glow in a neon blue light.

You should consider snorkeling in the Sea of stars Maldives to see the lights from underneath the water’s surface.

These micro-organisms are eaten by larger animals, so you have really high chance of spotting glowing fish swimming around.

These creatures, normally not glowing, become glowing once they consume a large number of microorganisms.

Safety tips to know about the sea of stars

There is nothing to worry about when spotting the bioluminescence in the waters around the Maldivian islands.

Sea of stars the Maldives
Sea of stars the Maldives

This bioluminescence is completely harmless for beaches, marine creatures, and humans.

The light produced by the phytoplankton is purely natural, and the show can likely be seen between June and October.

The best place from the Maldives to spot this phenomenon is Vaadhoo Island, a remote island resort reachable by speedboat around 15 minutes from Male International Airport.

Sea of stars Vaadhoo island Maldives

The best spot to see this spectacular glowing show is Vaadhoo island Maldives, a small and remote island with only 500 inhabitants.

The ocean glows in the dark as the sky glow on a clear night of summer.

This tropical island has something unique that attracts the phytoplankton known as glowing dinoflagellates in the waters around it.

Sea of the stars Maldives
Sea of the stars Maldives

Nothing is more romantic than taking a walk on the glowing beach or swimming in the glowing waters of the Indian Ocean.

For the full list of the most interesting things you can do when in Maldives check our article “10 fantastic things to do in Maldives“.

Vaadhu Island Sea of Stars resort

Adaaran Prestige Vadoo is one of the best resorts where you can stay if you want to spot the sea of stars.

Adaaran Prestige Vadoo sea of stars
Adaaran Prestige Vadoo sea of stars

The resort is a paradise on Earth that offers a wide range of water activities, top-notch services, and amazing ocean views from every island corner.

Adaaran Prestige Vadoo sea of stars Maldives
Adaaran Prestige Vadoo sea of stars Maldives

The dine al fresco option is something you should not miss, especially in a night when the bioluminescence is visible.

Other places to see sea of stars in the world

Maldives is the best place on Earth to spot the Sea of stars, but there are others.

Other three best places to go if you want to witness this stunning phenomenon are:

  • The Lakshadweep Island in India
  • The beach at Leucadia, California
  • Puerto Rico’s Mosquito Bay


Why does the beach in Maldives glow?

As the glowing phenomenon is known, Sea of the stars is a beautiful and natural thing that does not harm people and other marine creatures.

The sand and the water line glow because the plankton emits the so-called bioluminescent effect.

Can I swim on the glowing beach?

Yes, you can swim, dive, snorkel and do any other water activity in the glowing waters of the Indian Ocean.

The bioluminescent is not harmful to people, the only thing is that there might be more predators around attracted by the phytoplankton.

When can you see bioluminescence in Maldives?

The best time to spot bioluminescence in the Maldives is during the summer months, from June to October.

Is the bioluminescent beach safe?

Yes, it is completely safe! These microorganisms don’t cause any harm to humans and marine creatures.

They attract more predators, but most of them are not dangerous to people.

Logistical tips and tricks for your trip

Book your accommodation

We always use as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.

You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.

Don't forget travel insurance

We never leave home without HeyMondo Insurance or Safety Wings Insurance as they offer the best services and a good value for money, plus COVID coverage.

Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected events and cost like illness, COVID, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.

We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.

Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.

We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.

Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.

We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.

Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.

Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.