Sea spark Species in Red Sunrise | World Anvil

Sea spark

Lights in the water.

Sea Spark, is the wrong translation of the Dutch name Zeevonk. But Sea spark only has a weird as Latin scientific name, and not a common English name. So I will be calling it Sea Spark. And if you don't like that, too bad.


I'm, of course, talking about the organism that glows blue when we sail through it. Blue is the most famous form, there are also Red and Green species. The little organisms glow when they are disturbed. So when they are in a wave top, in a surf on the beach, or when the water bumps into rocks. But also when ships sail through a patch of them. The bow wave and the wake of a ship will light up. It looks amazing at night.

Sea Spark in the surf at the beach by Sander van der Wel via Wikimedia Commons

Traces in the water

Rose and Rebeckah had been watching the Sea Spark for a while, as they light up the bow wave in a blue glow. The sky was dark. There were some high clouds that blocked out most of the stars. So the blue was really bright. When suddenly Ashton came from the bow. Whispering. "Captain, there are more blue lines to our starboard bow."

They looked all together, and from the starboard, another blue line appeared indeed. Was it a regular wave? No, no other waves did light up the Sea Spark. There must be another ship out there, just as quiet as they were sailing. Rose jumped to check the electronics, but nothing showed there. That was odd, very odd. "Rouse the crew, quietly" she instructed Rebeckah.

With the binoculairs Rose peered in the dark, Jan de Jongh and Marshmallow where both standing next to her in the cockpit, peering trough the binoculars. The blue line they saw was the wake of a one stealthy ship.

When the clouds moved a bit and starlight shone down. All three of them saw the outline together. A frigate, and they were running up behind her, slowly overtaking.

Luckily the Red Sunrise was in the habit of running dark, no navigation light, no outgoing electronical signals, just receiving. And with whispers Rose informed the crew, and smoothly the Pirate ship tacked to port and sailed away from the threat in the dark.

"There is more of those blue lights over there."
"They also glow up when there is a wave. Nothing to worry about." Answered Charles du Lac, Captain of the Mary.
"We keep heading this way. The reports say the pirates are more to the north." He added.

Scientific Name
Noctiluca Scintillans
Average Length
0,5 to 2 mm in diameter
Geographic spread
Worldwide in coastal waters.
Bioluminescent light
Blue, Green or Red, depending on the local conditions.

Animal, algae,
what is it?

Sea Spark is neither. It's a large one cell organism. It is, however, both related to algae and plankton. Yeah, I'll leave that to the biologists to debate. They are normally ball shaped, but when they increase to their big size, they become kidney-shaped. They also manage to have a little tail. Not sure how that works when they are one cell, but okay.

Where does it live?
What does it eat?

Sea spark lives in large groups and they often lump together that float near the top of the sea surface. They are eaten by larvae, maritime bugs and turtles. Sea spark themselves feed on insect and fish eggs.

Useful, harmful

Sea spark is not harmful to humans, neither useful, it's only very photogenic. Only in very large quantities when it blooms, it can increase the ammonia levels in the water, which is harmful to some other sea life.


Author's Notes

Answer to the World Anvil Summer Camp 2023 prompt: 15. a useful plant found in a wild area of your world.

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Jul 31, 2023 20:30

That is so beautiful!

Jul 31, 2023 20:36 by Bart Weergang

I'm lucky enough to be able to say that pictures do not do it justice. Seeing it light up and glow when you sail through it is a magnificent sight.

Aug 3, 2023 15:41 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

They are lucky that Charles was silly and didn't investigate!   I would love to be able to see these in real life.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Aug 4, 2023 14:01 by Bart Weergang

Sometimes you need a little bit of luck.
Isn't this visible around the British isles? I know it is on the Dutch beaches.

Aug 4, 2023 17:56 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

It might be visible in some of Scotland, but alas, I am on the very south coast so no lights for me. :(

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Aug 4, 2023 17:20 by Deleyna Marr

Fantastic! Love the story to show its use.

Aug 5, 2023 09:16 by Bart Weergang

Thank you Deleyna !