Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Medical | By

Bioluminescent bloom lights up waves along San Diego coast

Bioluminescent bloom lights up waves along San Diego coast

The Birch Aquarium at Scripps now has a display called, "Infinity Cube" that explains the phenomenon.

The glow is caused by an algae bloom called "bioluminescent phytoplankton".

A red tide at the San Diego beach was a sight for everyone with photographers being the most benefitted.

San Diego beaches are lighting up blue due to a phenomenon called a red tide.

"It kind of looked like the color of a light saber", Bay said, according to CBS News.


"It's this bright electrical blue color and it's attractive", Jami Leslie Feldman, owner of Underwater Paparazzi, told the news station.

However, not all red tides, or harmful algal blooms (HAB), produce the light display. It's a type of algae that glows as a natural defence mechanism from predators that try to eat the blooms, according to Scripps Oceanography research scientist, Dimitri Deheyn.

The photo, taken by John H. Moore and shared on Scripps Oceanography's Twitter page, shows "a red tide offshore San Diego bringing a spectacular display of #bioluminescence to beaches at night". The toxins may also make the surrounding air hard to breathe. "A small percentage of algae, however, produce powerful toxins that can kill fish, shellfish, mammals, and birds, and may directly or indirectly cause illness in people".

The current red tide in San Diego is not harmful or toxic, though.

Bioluminescence from a red tide turns breaking waves a stunning, yet eerie shade of blue.

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