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Rare Bioluminescent Waves Burst With Blue Neon Light at California and Acapulco Beaches

“It’s just amazing. It’s one of those things, once you see it, your mind is blown.”



Bioluminescent Waves

(TMU) — With all too many of us stuck indoors and only able to enjoy nature’s beauty through a monitor, there’s seemingly been no shortage of tantalizing photos displaying the brilliant sights of the great outdoors, whether it’s the majestic Yosemite being taken back by its animal residents or a sea of brilliant blue flowers.

And now we have the glowing bioluminescent waves of the Pacific Coast.

From the beaches of Acapulco to the coastal shores of Orange County, California, beach-going locals and photographers have been sharing dazzling images of waves lit up with a striking and somewhat eerie neon blue glow.

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.

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 make the organisms display light.

On Monday night, bioluminescent plankton made the Acapulco beach of Puerto Marqués glow for the first time in over 60 years, exiting local residents who even went to splash around and ride their surfboards through the neon blue waters, reports Mexico Desconocido.

By Tuesday, images of the rare display went viral on social media.

Playa de Puerto Márquez Una vez me dijo mi amigo Domitilo Soto que estos microorganismos en playa luces rumbo a pie de…

Posted by Arturo Martinez on Monday, April 20, 2020


Last week, a similarly rare display of bioluminescence took place in Newport Beach, California. The spectacle was captured on film by photographers Royce Hutain, Patrick Coyne and Mark Girardeau of the website Orange County Outdoors, reports Orange County Reporter.

Girardeau told the newspaper:

“Especially on the bigger waves, some of it looked like it was in Avatar land, it was so blue.”

A tell-tale signal that the ocean would glow that night came earlier when Hutain observed the red tide earlier that morning while flying his drone over the beach. And while the red tide doesn’t always signal a night-time glow, the photographers decided to head out in hopes that they’d catch some good snaps of the phenomenon—which is exactly what they got.

Coyne was blown away by what he described as the brightest bioluminescence he had ever seen.

He 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.”

View this post on Instagram

•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

A post shared by Patrick Coyne (@patrickc_la) on

Girardeau had pursed bioluminescence in the past, driving as far as San Diego and Malibu over the years only to be disappointed. He explained:

“I’d say like five years or so since I’ve known that it’s possible.”

The images the three captured of sparking, frothy neon-blue waves are unforgettable – both for observers and for the photographers. Girardeau said:

“It was just awesome to see what the ocean has in store for you.

“It’s just amazing. It’s one of those things, once you see it, your mind is blown.”

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons |

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