|MC Escher, Phosphorescent Sea (1933)|
|Kate Castelli, The Frequency of Falling (2013)|
What Escher called a "phosphorescent sea" is actually a biological phenomenon known as bioluminescence. This "biological light" in the waves is the product of marine microbes called phytoplankton. Various species of phytoplankton are known to bioluminesce, and their lights can be seen in oceans all around the world.
I saw a phosphorescent sea many years ago at Race Point, on the Cape Cod National Seashore. The waves glowed with pinpricks of light as they washed on the shore and around my ankles. It was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen and it was the inspiration for my woodblock print The Frequency of Falling.