Name of the bioluminescent bay on the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico.

The bay is sheltered in a secluded corner of the island, protected from the rough waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Its life is that of a family of microscopic creatures called dinoflagellates, which produce a faint fluorescent blue glow when perturbed in the water. Special conditions allow them to thrive in the bay, but also inhibit them from escaping.

Mangrove trees that thrive on the salty waters of the bay line its shores in great number, shedding their leaves directly into its waters. The leaves decompose and fill the water with nutrients that are perfect for dinoflagellates. The creatures thrive and multiply, and as a result have come to exist in concentrations as high as 720,000 organisms per gallon of bay water. These concentrations make it so that any motion in the water creates huge waves of soft blue light that dazzle and delight visitors and tourists, allowing this amazing natural resource to go on mostly unaffected by man's encroachments on the Caribbean islands.

A company called Island Adventures (see www.biobay.com for more information on tours and some amazing pictures) runs tours of the bay nightly using a non-polluting electric boat. For a nominal (and well worth it!!!) fee of $12, a representative of Island Adventures will take you out on the bay, explain the delicacies of the eco-system to you, lead you on a guided tour of the Puerto Rican sky and some prominent constellations, and, at long last, let you swim in the bay, in what will probably be one of the most breath-taking and life-affirming moments of your life. The proceeds all go toward maintenance of the bay and efforts to protect it from pollution and other ecological threats.

Yes, the bay also does happen to be full of mosquitos.

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