The Milky Seas, Yemen

by Owen James Burke

Believed to be caused by bioluminescent bacteria (Vibrio harveyi), the Milky Seas off Yemen are about 15,400 square kilometers of the western Indian Ocean can be seen glowing for days at a time.

Sailing folklore has described the legend of the milky seas for quite some time, and Jules Verne even describes the them in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but it was only in 2005 when scientist Steve Miller decided to find out once and for all using satellite images.

Still, the mystery isn’t entirely solved, as no one has found an explanation for why the bacteria exists in such concentration.


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