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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