Using specially designed blue light flashlights and lens filters for dive masks that reveal the natural fluorescence of corals and other marine life, Key Largo’s Keys Diver is the first and only dive operation offering this unique underwater experience.
It’s the sort of thing you have to see to believe — an oceanic underworld transformed into something that look like it came right out of the movie Avatar. For years, high-tech photographers have documented the neon-like fluorescence exhibited by corals, nudibranchs and other marine life when blue light reflects off them and is viewed through a special filter. But now this state-of-the-art technology can be incorporated into standard night-dive gear, making it easy for divers to experience it for themselves.
“It’s amazing,” says Nikki Gersbeck, one of the instructors working for Keys Diver. “I’m excited to be a part of the dive shop that’s piloting this program in the Florida Keys, since it really isn’t offered anywhere else yet.”
Of course, Keys Diver recognized that the fad would spread and is an official Rep for their distributor. “The decision was an easy one,” Owner Rob Mitchell explained. “Life on a small island – especially one that has a dive shop on every block – doesn’t support exclusivity. We all help each other out and the bottom line comes down to what Key Largo can offer tourists; so we can help them do that by offering competitive rates for the necessary Fluorescent Night Dive equipment.”
Bio-fluorescence is still a relatively ‘new’ concept. Although discovered in the 1920s, it wasn’t until the 1970s that Dr. Charles H. Mazel started to conduct scientific research in the area of underwater fluorescence. It was by measuring excitation and emission spectrographs that he determined blue light was the most effective wavelength for stimulating fluorescence. Based on these findings Dr. Mazel subsequently developed the modern form of “fluo” diving with blue light torches and yellow filters. He went on to develop the equipment we use today. Now, new theories have developed surrounding WHY marine organisms bio-fluoresce; signals, protection and communication have all been placed on the table. All we know for sure is that it’s fascinating and mysterious.
But don’t take our word for it. As long as you have a minimum certification of Open Water Diver, you can do a Fluorescent Night Dive with Keys Diver. Groups are no more than 6 divers, and you are provided a guide. You can learn more by visiting www.fluorescentdiving.com or calling 305-451-1177.
Experience the diving capital of the world in a whole new light!