Home / NatureGorgeous Phenomenon Is Making San Diego’s Beaches Glow Blue at Night

Gorgeous Phenomenon Is Making San Diego’s Beaches Glow Blue at Night

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The people of San Diego recently had the chance to witness one of Mother Nature’s most beautiful phenomenons: bioluminescence. Caused by a “bloom” of marine planktons known as dinoflagellates, the tiny organisms emit radiant blue bioluminescent light when they are disturbed. Earlier this week off the coast of San Diego, millions of plankton gathered, causing the entire 18-mile-long stretch to glow and glitter in electric blue.

Known as the “red tide,” the natural wonder can sometimes turn the water’s surface into shades of red and pink, but for many it looks best at night when the sparkling display comes to life. However, this spectacular sight isn’t just for show—according to Dimitri Deheyn, a research scientist with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the microorganisms sometimes flash blue to protect themselves from being eaten. He explains, “The algae makes a light when a fish or little shrimp tries to eat it […] That light attracts a bigger fish that can eat whatever is trying to eat the algae.”

While some red tides can be toxic, this particular bioluminescent beach is perfectly safe. Deheyn says, “Feel free to go swimming in the bioluminescence, it's an awesome experience. Or you can take the algae and smear it around the sand to watch it glow.”

It is not known how long this current ocean bioluminescence will last, so if you’re in San Diego you might still have the chance to see these dazzling blue waves. Scroll down to see some of the images captured by locals so far.

The people of San Diego recently had the chance to witness one of Mother Nature’s most beautiful phenomenons: bioluminescence.

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Caused by a “bloom” of marine planktons known as dinoflagellates, the tiny organisms emit radiant blue bioluminescent light when they are disturbed.

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Known as the “red tide,” millions of plankton gathered, causing the entire 18-mile-long stretch to glow and glitter in electric blue.

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h/t: [Laughing Squid]

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