SEA Currents: grinnell college
May 24, 2019
Grinnell College Student Experiences Natural Wonders, Natural Tragedy in New Zealand
SEA Semester in the NEWS
“Student Experiences Natural Wonders, National Tragedy in New Zealand”
by Phuc Huynh Le ’22
Grinnell College News
Standing watch on a 134-foot-long sailboat from 1 to 7 a.m., Isaac Ferber sighted what appeared to be a fast line of light traveling near the ocean surface off the coast of New Zealand.
“It was cloudy that night. I heard what sounded like something breathing in the water, which is somewhat alarming in the pitch dark,” Ferber says. After scanning the water, he spotted a dolphin maneuvering in such a way as to cause water-suspended bacteria to glow brightly due to fluorescence. He figured they were likely from the Vibrionaceae family of bacteria because he had learned about their fluorescent properties in his classes aboard ship.