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No. 92: Mar-Apr 1994

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Expanding Luminescent Rings

Three sets of expanding phosphorescent rings observed in the Gulf of Oman
Three sets of expanding phosphorescent rings observed on October 14, 1960, in the Gulf of Oman
March 26, 1993. Strait of Hormuz, Persian Gulf. Aboard the m.v. Liverpool Bay, Jeddah to Jebel Ali.

"At 1540 UTC while the vessel was transiting the Strait of Hormuz westbound, within the traffic separation scheme, it was strangely illuminated for several minutes by what turned out to be bioluminescent organisms. Bearing in mind the size of the vessel and the height of the containers above the water (about 25 m) the intensity of the light produced was remarkable. "The first appearance could only be described as something out of a science fiction novel, as the vessel moved through a wave-like form of light which initially appeared to be above the water in the pitch-black night. Shortly afterwards an area to port at a distance of several hundred metres exhibited an even more amazing display of concentric circles emanating from a single point; the star board side maintained the more broken wave form but retained the same intensity of light. The vessel and deck containers were illuminated by an eerie and variable glow."

(Welch, J.W.; "Bioluminescence," Marine Observer, 64:14, 1994.)

From Science Frontiers #92, MAR-APR 1994. 1994-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987