Why are the ocean waves shimmering with neon blue on the beaches of California?


This month, beachgoers saw bioluminescence in the waters of Southern California. The blue glow comes from bioluminescent phytoplankton, which is shaken in water by waves.

Fragment of a screen from the Facebook University of California at San Diego

Southern California’s ocean waves now glow bright blue.

The phenomenon is called bioluminescence.

Dazzling bright color can be seen at night when waves or floating dolphins excite dinoflagellate clusters a form of algae flowering, according to the University of California, San Diego.

Many people and photographers have turned to social media to capture the seemingly magical show on the beaches of San Diego, which began to sparkle in early March.

Scientists from the village Scripps Institute of Oceanography do not know how long the “red tide” will appear, but said it could last from a week to a month or more.

During the day the red tide has a reddish-brown color as the algae is concentrated near the water surface, the university said.

Scientists say the best time to see bright neon waves is two hours after sunset on a dark beach.

The bioluminescent organisms also appeared last year.

One photographer caught on camera Balto’s dog floating on colored water.

Helena Wegner is a McClatchy National Real-Time Reporter who covers Washington State and the Western Region. She graduated in journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Arizona. She is in Phoenix.

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