Quantcast

The Incredible Reason Some Waves Glow Neon Blue

There’s a lot lurking beneath the ocean’s dark abyss, but light might be one of the most unexpected. In actuality, a large number of sea creatures are “bioluminescent,” which means they emit light from a chemical reaction occurring within them. Bioluminescence can be found in bacteria, fish, jellyfish, octopi, squid, and sea worms—and most of them are deep-sea dwellers.

However, the most commonly seen—and arguably the most awesome—bioluminescent marine organisms are dinoflaggelates. These one-celled protists, 90 percent of which are marine plankton, have a very striking feature: when disturbed by a predator or a wave, they give off a bright blue light. So when a dinoflaggelate population increases rapidly, or “blooms”, it creates a red tide. And when it is nighttime during an algal bloom and the ocean water is rough – watch out – because a neon blue wave will be glowing straight towards you!

Gorgeous GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY

Discover & Share this Gorgeous GIF with everyone you know. GIPHY is how you search, share, discover, and create GIFs.

Water You Waiting For?

Sign up for Azula’s newsletter to bring the latest ocean news and crazy-cute animal videos straight to your inbox.

While red tides cannot be predicted, there are a few locations around the world famous for glowing blue waves. In the United States, San Diego is the most common city where red tides take place, and surfers are graced with bright blue waves as often as every few years.

Animated GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY

Discover & Share this Animated GIF with everyone you know. GIPHY is how you search, share, discover, and create GIFs.


Youtube

The Maldives archipelago in the Indian Ocean; Mosquito Bay in Puerto Rico, Manly Beach in Sydney, Australia; Luminous Lagoon in Jamaica; Norfolk, Great Britain; Bali, Indonesia; and the Florida and southern California coast are all great hot spots to see, surf, and kayak through bioluminescent waves.

Watch this video of waves at Manly Beach, in Australia:

Bioluminescence Manly

Some incredible Bio-luminescence along Manly Beach – Blue waves! More form Joel at http://www.saltmotion.com Photographs from this event here: http://www.saltmotion.com/2014/08/25/bioluminescence-blue-waves-by-night.html To use this video for broadcast or in a commercial player contact Saltmotion Gallery here: http://www.saltmotion.com/contact-us

The phenomenon can happen anywhere in the world and at any time of the year, which adds to it’s inherit magic. The next time you are on vacation, taking a nice stroll along the beach at night, check out the crashing waves – they might just be glimmering a fluorescent blue.