Picture an underwater world that is pitch black with sparks of glow-in-the-dark magic lighting up under your torch beam, making you feel like you’ve stepped into an Avatar movie.
Fluorescence is the name for the absorption of high-energy light by a material (such as coral tissue) and its re-emission nanoseconds later at a longer wavelength. Simply put, some things will glow in unbelievable colors when illuminated with the right light.
Interesting information: Fluorescence is not to be mistaken with phosphorescence or bioluminescence. Something that is phosphorescent means it can STORE light and re-emit it over a longer period of time (i.e. your dive watch or dive gauge). Something that is bioluminescent means that the light is PRODUCED by living organisms (i.e. phytoplankton).
Fluodiving, fluorescent night diving, UV diving, glow diving – goes by many names. But no matter what you call this vibrant type of diving, the optical magic of fluorescence adds a totally new dimension to your night diving repertoire.
Hopefully, at this point in you’re diving career, you’ve heard of night diving, and chances are you’ve tried it. Fluorescent diving is a colorful variation on night diving that many have heard of, and yet few have done.
Read more about night diving and everything else that goes bump after dark:
Swimming around in a dark ocean isn’t the norm. But at night the whole allure of the underwater world changes. So the big question is: are you afraid of diving after dark?
In fluorescent diving, a diver will use a specialized blue or ultraviolet (UV) light underwater to illuminate the world around them. This light will reveal a world of psychedelic neon colors. All the critters and coral you’ve come to know on a night dive will be worth a second look as they glow in incredible hues of pink, orange, green, and blues.
Fluorescence is around us all the time but is almost always invisible to the naked eye beneath the sunlight or the bean of a dive torch. And while fluorescence is always present, not every form of marine life has the ability to fluoresces.
In living organisms, when fluorescent proteins absorb light of a specific wavelength, they re-emit that light at a lower energy. This process is what causes the discharged light to display different colors. For reasons still unknown to science, some aquatic creatures produce these special proteins which react to light, and others will not.
Some of our favorite critters to try illuminating for fluorescence are:
With the right equipment certain corals and other critters on the reef light up in unexpected rave-worthy colors.
In the early days, divers used ultraviolet lights to display fluorescence underwater. However, in recent years, a scientist named Dr. Charles Mazel discovered that contrary to popular belief, UV lighting did not emit the best wavelength for viewing fluorescence; blue light, with wavelengths between 450-470 nanometers was better. So much better, in fact, that blue light was approximately four times as effective at stimulating fluorescence in corals when compared to UV light at the same energy.
Kraken Sports Hydra Dive Light:The Hydra 5000 WSRU are the perfect addition to your fluorescent night diving kit. The light is an all in one photo and dive light with wide, spot, red, and UV modes.
The only disadvantage with regards to blue lighting is that unlike ultraviolet, blue light is visible to the human eye. And when used to showcase fluorescence, it can easily outshine this weak effect. To counter the blue light and enable the long fluorescent light waves to be seen, divers must use a yellow filter.
Be it cold water or warm water, the beauty of fluorescent diving is that it’s not restricted to a particular region or climate. There are organisms with wildly colorful capabilities all over the place. Some of the best known fluorescent diving locations are Bonaire, Grand Cayman, Indonesia, Maldives, Philippines, and the Red Sea.
But at the end of the day, as long as you have the necessary equipment (or have a dive shop where you can rent the right equipment) you can enjoy a fluorescent dive.
Fluorescent diving is some pretty wild stuff. Have you ever tried this type of colorful night diving? If so where have you done it?
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If you’re not quite ready for the expense of big lights, this little video light goes perfectly with any GoPro setup
Bare Sports 5mm men’s wetsuit made with elastek full-stretch nylon-2 and neoprene celliant liner infrared technology.
13-inch inflatable dive buoy with a 12 by 11-inch scuba diving flag surface marker
Capture amazingly smooth GoPro footage in the air with the GoPro Karma Drone
Rechargeable Ikelite NiMH battery pack compatible with Ikelite’s DS125, DS160, and DS161 strobes.
Diving lens filter kit for GoPro HERO 5/6 which enhances colors for underwater video and photography conditions
Bare SB System Mens Full Under-layer
The dive guide Bonaire is a comprehensive dive guide for use by divers and snorkelers at all skill levels. It describes more than 100 dive sites along with underwater maps and stunning photographs. This all-inclusive dive guide is your handbook for endless diving and snorkeling enjoyment.
Bare drysuit trek boots designed for rocky shore entries, boat decks, and boat ladders
Dry glove lock system that accommodates all hand sizes
GoPro HERO6 Black Camera
Sigma MC-11 mount converter lens adapter (Sigma EF-Mount lens to sony E cameras). Essential photo kit contains Altura photo rapid-fire wrist strap, small lens pouch, cleaning kit, and microfiber lens cleaning cloth.
Black scuba diving turtle fins
Bare 7mm thick elastek dry suit hood
3PC curved armband glow in the dark slate.
Sony Alpha a6500 24MP mirrorless camera with a 16-50mm lens, able to shoot 4K movies.
The Sony SEL90M28G FE 90 mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS Standard-Prime Lens for E (NEX) Cameras.
The waterproof scuba diving egg helps keep valuables dry while in the water. The egg is suitable for storing sunglasses, car keys, money and etc.
The inside diameter is 2.07″ and the inside length is 5.04″.
Ikelite compact ball arm for quick release handle
Suunto SK-8 wrist compass with bungee straps, faster stabilization, and enhanced readability
Ikelite Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1 underwater camera housing in white
Ikelite TTL dual flash sync cord attaches two strobe’s to the underwater camera housing.
Bare 5mm evoke women’s full suit designed by Bare’s all-female design team. The suit has technically, innovative celliant infrared technology which increase circulation, body warmth and performance.
The Hydra 5000 WSRU is an all in one photo and dive light with wide, spot, red, and UV modes
Black Mares Dragon Scuba Diving BCD
Canon Macro Lens EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM – non Image Stabilised
SHOOT 6″ Underwater Dome Port for GoPro Hero 6/Hero 5/Hero(2018) Black Camera Diving Lens Hood Housing Photography with Waterproof Case Accessories
Flexible Lightweight Portable Tripod for Projector DSLR Cameras and Go Pro
An elegant lead-free wine glass with a shark figurine anchored inside. The perfect gift for wine and shark lovers everywhere.
Ikelite photography strobe DS161 with NiMH rechargeable battery pack
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom Lens for Canon Digital DSLR Camera + 32GB Memory Card + Photo4Less Cleaning Cloth.
Suunto Vyper Novo wrist scuba diving computer with USB
Scuba diving 4ft neon yellow surface marker signal tube with “Diver Below” print
Ikelite aluminum digital camera tray with dual handles
Ikelite underwater macro lens casing is comprised of an acetyl body with glass front and can hold lenses of 4.37 diameter x 3 inches (111 x 76 mm)
Capture amazingly smooth shake-free video with the GoPro Karma Grip
Compact scuba diving finger spool with 150ft of white line and a 4-inch brass double-ended clip
Bare drysuit drawstring scuba gear bag the perfect alternative for transporting a dry suit to-and-from the dive site
DUI heavy duty dry suit gloves with yellow liners available in sizes: S, M, L, XL
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod and Bag with adjustable-height legs and rubber feet
GoPro dual battery charger conveniently charges two HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, or HERO camera batteries simultaneously
The Cuticate floating dry box is a waterproof sports container perfect to fit money, ID, cards, keys and more. The case is small, portable, compact, and comes with a lanyard clip hook to take with you as you scuba dive.
Compact underwater scuba diving hand reel with a 150ft of white line on the spool
Mini blue scuba diving tank key ring with brass pick tool and o-rings
Black Mares Cruise Roller Tauchen bag, perfect for scuba diving and traveling
Dive hands-free with a diving flashlight glove. This torch holder has a universal adjustable wrist strap scuba and is made of superior nylon material, which means it’s durable and comfortable to wear.
Filled with more than 350 images from National Geographic, 100 Dives of a Lifetime provides the ultimate bucket list for ardent scuba divers and aspirational travelers alike.