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UV Night Diving

Anemone in UV light

UV Night Diving

UV night diving (also called blacklight diving or fluorescent diving) is a super spectacular and interesting way of experiencing the underwater world.

Seeing fluorescent corals light up in strange colors while it is pitch black around is something most divers will want to put on their bucket list!

Here you can find out a bit more about UV nigh diving, where to do it, and what to see.

What is UV night diving?

Corals and other marine life are fluorescent and glow in many different colors under UV light. In UV night diving, also called blacklight diving, Fluo, or glow diving, we use UV torches and a yellow mask filter to observe this phenomenon underwater.

In this case, an image says more than a thousand words, so here is one to give you an impression.

Coral in UV light
Fluorescent corals lit up by UV light.

Corals and some marine animals are fluorescent which means they absorb one color (the light from your torch) and emit a different one, as seen above.

In the case of UV light, marine life absorbs the blue color and emits green, yellow, purple, and even more interesting ones in return.

If you want to see a cool video of the fluorescence of corals, here is one by the BBC:

There is also an interesting read on Reddit if you want to check it out.

What do you need for UV night diving?

You will need your normal scuba gear, an underwater torch, as well as a special UV torch, and a yellow mask filter for UV night diving. Most dive bases require an Advanced Open Water Diver certificate to join such a dive, and a Nightdiving specialty helps, as well.

You can take any UV underwater torch with you and put a yellow mask filter on.

Scuba diver shining dive torches
UV night diving doesn’t require much extra equipment.

Technically, you could even put a yellow sheet of paper over it or anything else that is thin and yellow.

Here is a cool and inexpensive fluorescent diving set:

Where can I go UV night diving?

The best places to experience UV diving are:

  • The Red Sea
  • Thailand
  • Maldives
  • Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao
  • Indonesia
  • Honduras
  • The Phillippines
  • Grenada
  • USA, East Coast
  • Cozumel, Mexico

UV diving is not yet super common around the world, so it helps to check beforehand whether you can do it wherever you plan to dive.

However, it is growing in popularity, and in a few years, you’ll probably find it everywhere.

The first time I tried UV diving was in Egypt a few years back and I thought it was super interesting.

Anemone in UV light

We were accompanied by a marine biologist which made the entire event even more exciting, as she was able to explain a lot of stuff about corals to us.

Fluorescent diving was also offered on a liveaboard trip in Thailand I did a while back, which was a great way to see the dive site in a different light (no pun intended).

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