This place may look like the imaginary land of your dreams, but trust us: It’s real.
Welcome to the magical blue waters of Matsu, an island chain off the coast of Taiwan. Every summer, Matsu’s shore glitters with a display of glowing algae known as “Blue Tears.” Travelers come from far and wide to see the natural phenomenon and its otherworldly results:
Researchers recently confirmed that the Blue Tears come from a special type of glowing algae called noctiluca scintillans, not from pollution as some people had worried.
"This represents a kind of ecological balance, and the appearance of noctiluca scintillans is therefore far from an indication of environmental deterioration," said Professor Chiang Kuo-ping, the study's author and director of the Institute of Marine Environment and Ecology at National Taiwan Ocean University's Center of Excellence for the Oceans.
The glow is popular with travelers, who come to play on the water’s edge when the algae are active from about April through August every year.
To get to the Matsu Islands, you can take a flight or hop a ferry from mainland Taiwan.
But FYI, Matsu isn’t the only place you can find a watery light show: Tiny glowing organisms are active in waters around the world, creating effects like this from Puerto Rico to Thailand to the California coast. So book a trip, and get glowing!