Red Tide Leads to Eerie Bioluminescence on San Diego Beaches

Bioluminescent bloom lights up waves

Bioluminescence from red tide: Algae bloom literally lighting up San Diego waves at night

The rare phenomenon, known as bioluminescence, stretches about 28 kilometres along the coast and scientists are not sure how long it will last.

"We're getting reports that the bioluminesence runs from La Jolla to Encinitas, but we don't know how big the red tide is", Latz told the Union-Tribune on Tuesday afternoon.

Bay shared on Facebook that the last red tide to show in San Diego came in 2013 and he made it a point to make sure he didn't miss this one.

A red tide is making the nighttime surf light up with a blue glow.

'It kind of looked like the color of a light saber, ' Bay said, according to CBS News. "It really was a bright blue color that was just fantastic to look at".

The current red tide is "quite patchy" and the bioluminescence can be seen only when the algae bloom gets close to shore, Latz said.

Causing a red tide during the day, phytoplankton equipped with their own "sunscreen" gather near the shore at midday to catch more light. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), One of the best-known HABs occurs each year off Florida's Gulf Coast.

"Most blooms, in fact, are beneficial because the tiny plants are food for animals in the ocean". "A small percentage of algae, however, produce powerful toxins that can kill fish, shellfish, mammals, and birds, and may directly or indirectly cause illness in people".

Bioluminescence from a red tide turns breaking waves a stunning, yet eerie shade of blue.

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