Surfers and kayakers across Southern California have been flocking to the beaches at night to witness an unusual phenomenon causing ocean waters to glow neon blue.
In a recent interview with Discovery News (via MNN), marine biologist Michael Latz explained that the otherworldly sight is created by single-celled organisms called dinoflagellates. The organism is known to form algae blooms, commonly referred to as red tides, that emit light in response to a disturbance in the water.
During the day, the algae blooms turn the water red or brown in colour, but at night the organisms become bioluminescent.
Scientists still don’t understand what causes a red tide outbreak and can’t predict when they will occur.
Although some red tides can be noxious in high concentrations, this one is harmless.
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