A Stunning Ocean Show In Southern California!

Bioluminescent waves

 

The southern coast of California is being lit up by a dazzling display of bioluminescent waves. This spectacular sight has attracted visitors to California’s southern coastline recently but could be coming to an end soon as the organisms causing the red tide & glowing waves are nearing the end of their life span.

What is Bioluminescence?
✨ It is the light emitted by living things through chemical reactions within an organism’s body.
✨ For a reaction to occur, the organism must contain luciferin, a molecule that releases photons of light when reacted with oxygen.

How are these waves formed?
? During the day, microorganisms called phytoplankton get collected along the coastline giving the water a reddish-brown hue, known as the red tide.
? At night, when the phytoplankton are agitated by waves or other movements in the water, they put on a light show illuminating the turbulent waters.

Michael Latz, a researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California (SIO) explains that the phytoplankton use the glowing light as a defence mechanism when they feel a lot of water movement or when a nearby predator preys upon them.

 

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