Bioluminescent bloom lights up waves

Bioluminescent bloom lights up waves”

Waves of neon blue are crashing onto the shore in an eerie phenomenon caused by red algae filled with phytoplankton called "dinoflagellates".

The "red" part of the tide can be seen during the day, when the plankton rising toward the sunlight make the top of the water red.

Stephen Bay, a Southern Californian based photographer, snagged a picture of the illuminating visual on Monday at Torrey Pines.

"It kind of looked like the color of a light saber", said Bay.

"We're getting reports that the bioluminesence runs from La Jolla to Encinitas, but we don't know how big the red tide is", Latz told the Union-Tribune on Tuesday afternoon. "It really was a bright blue color that was just fantastic to look at".

A red tide that developed off San Diego over the past few days is producing one of nature's small but grand spectacles: bioluminescent light in the ocean, the Union-Tribune reported.

"I was thinking, this is SoCal's equivalent of a Northern Lights", said Bay. "I've never seen anything like it".

Some red tides are associated with toxicity in shellfish.

It's not clear how long this natural marvel will last. "Shut your lights off at night and it's sparkling all around you".

The best conditions to observe the luminescent surf are two hours after sunset on dark stretches of beach.

"It's incredible", said Feldman.

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