(TMU) — Spectacular video footage has been captured showing dolphins literally glowing in neon blue as they swim off the coast of Southern California.
The brilliant scene was captured on Wednesday just as night fell on Newport Beach in Orange County.
The footage was taken by photographer Patrick Coyne of the website Orange County Outdoors, who recently garnered international headlines after taking photos of crashing blue bioluminescent waves in the same coastal waters last week.
Orange County Register reports that Coyne and his fried Ryan Lawler, the owner of Newport Coastal Adventure, were out at sea in an inflatable boat hoping to capture video of creatures illuminated by the bioluminescent water, a natural phenomenon that has allowed Coyne and his colleagues to garner worldwide attention and once-in-a-lifetime shots every photographer dreams of.
The two were just about to call it quits when they suddenly noticed two dolphins near them, who appeared out of the pitch black ocean to swim alongside their small boat. The contrast of the deep, dark ocean water against their illuminated, slender bodies was something they couldn’t believe—and it lasted for about 15 minutes.
“They were bow riding, they were super into the boat. About five minutes in, two more came and we had a little pod of four dolphins … It was amazing.”
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•Dolphins Swimming in Bioluminescence• Last night was truly one of the most magical nights of my life. Capt. Ryan @lawofthelandnsea of @newportcoastaladventure invited me along to capture rare video of Dolphins swimming in bioluminescence. The first time I saw this actually filmed was a few months back while watching a Night on Earth documentary on Netflix. The second I saw that footage it became a dream of mine to one day capture something similar and that’s exactly what we did. This was by far the most challenging video I’ve shot for a number of reason. For starters the bioluminescence has sweet spots to where it shows up and then fades away so while on the water it’s impossible to just find it. Not only that but actually finding any type of animal in pitch black is just so ridiculously hard. Conditions have to be absolutely perfect for the bioluminescence to show up and to have an animal swim through it so we can film it. On top of all that just trying to nail the focus at such a wide aperture with something moving in the water was a nightmare. We were out for a few hours and on our final stretch back we finally had 2 Dolphins pop up to start the incredible glowing show. A few minutes later and we were greeted by a few more which was insane. I’m honestly still processing this all and I can’t thank @newportcoastaladventure enough for having me out because without them none of this would be possible. Be sure to check our their edit from last night as well! I hope you all enjoy this video. ——————————————————————————— Shot on a Sony a7Sii with a Rokinon 35mm Cine DS T1.5 Len. Shutter speed: 1/50 Aperture T2 ISO 80,000
Coyne was simply blown away by the moment. He said:
“I was like, this can’t be happening.
“This is so magical. After the two dolphins were playing with us, a few more joined in.”
The biolumenesnce off Newport Beach has been out of this world! Last night Capt. Ryan took the Zodiac out to look for dolphins, and together with friend Patrick Coyne filmed this amazing interaction with a pod of dolphins as they lit up the night.
Posted by Newport Coastal Adventure on Thursday, April 23, 2020
The rare spectacle of glowing blue water caused by algal blooms has been present off some beaches along the Pacific Coast in the past week, most notably in Newport Beach and Acapulco.
The natural phenomenon is known as bioluminescence, and is caused by an increase in the dinoflagellate population. The dinoflagellates—which are tiny, swimming plants—include Lingulodinium polyedra, which is responsible for the glowing waves. Dinoflagellates contain enzymes and proteins that create small light flashes.
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•Newport Beach Bioluminescence• Last nights bioluminescence in Newport Beach was incredible! So far it’s the brightest I’ve ever seen. My buddy @markgirardeau called me letting me know that there was a red tide which was originally discovered by @visual_burrito earlier that day. It doesn’t always happen but a red tide could indicate some bioluminescence which is why we went. Keeping our distance of course I ended up getting some pretty incredible video showing how blue and bright it really was. If you’ve never seen bioluminescence before it’s definitely something you have to see with your own eyes! Newport Beach is among some of the beaches in Orange County that are still open, just wanted to mention that. Hope you guys enjoy the videos! ——————————————————————————— Filmed on my Sony a7iii with a Rokinon 35mm Cine DS T1.5 Setting we’re: Shutter speed 1/50 T1.5 ISO 80,000
During the day, the algal bloom appears as a deep red, rusty tide due to the heavy concentration of small photosynthetic organisms floating up to the surface. When the sun goes down, however, movements such as crashing waves—or in this case, swimming dolphins—make the tiny organisms display light.
Describing the bioluminescence he witnessed last week, Coyne said:
“As soon as the set crashes, it’s a burst of blue light. It’s not always the perfect burst of blue light, you want it to be dark.
“Once it hits, it’s a burst of blue light and you get that color. And it really does look like what you see in pictures and videos.”
Coyne had been dreaming of capturing such night-time footage of dolphins ever since he saw the Netflix film, “Night on Earth,” which used moonlight-sensitive, high-tech low-light cameras and heat-tracking technology to capture nocturnal scenes of marine life.
“It’s not something you can just plan. It was showing up in little sections, we would drive the boat a bit, it would be bright and then it would go away.
“You can’t really find it, it’s pitch black. We could see it when it would start glowing, there’s no way for us to predict it.”
Coyne admits that the moment was so “magical” that he couldn’t help but shed a tear.
“Hands down the most incredible experience of my life.
“I’ve been really lucky, this truly tops everything.”
“We’re pretty proud of [the dolphin footage.]
“I don’t know how many people will ever see that in their life. I didn’t think I’d ever see this in my life, to be honest. It was truly one of the most magical nights of my life.”
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