Bioluminescent bloom lights up waves along San Diego coast

Bioluminescent bloom lights up waves along San Diego coast

Bioluminescent bloom lights up waves along San Diego coast

The algae is filled with bioluminescent phytoplankton, which create an eerie, blue glow whenever it's jostled around by the rolling waves.

Bay shared on Facebook that the last red tide to show in San Diego came in 2013 and he made it a point to make sure he didn't miss this one.

A rare red tide washed up on San Diego beaches this week, lighting the shore with a neon blue glow from bioluminescent phytoplankton.

Bioluminescence expert Michael Latz says the glow hasn't happened in California in almost five years.

"The water contains dense numbers of dinoflagellates especially Ceratium falcatiforme and Lingulodinium polyedra, As L. polyedra (formerly Gonyaulax polyedra), which is well known for its bioluminescent displays", Latz, a bioluminescence expert at the University of California-San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography, explained what happens.

It's been affecting the ocean tide since Monday. HABs also include blooms of non-toxic species that have harmful effects on marine ecosystems. "We can't predict when these things occur, we don't know how long they will last, when they'll be here, and we really don't understand the dynamics".

"We're lucky here in Southern California that the organisms that are abundant here are not known to be toxic", Latz said, though some people can be "sensitive" to the algae bloom in San Diego. "As the name suggests, the bloom of algae often turns the water red", NOAA notes, adding that not all algal blooms are harmful.

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