Bioluminescent Waves

The mesmerizing neon light show is caused by a  phenomenon where colonies of algae, simple plants that live in water,  bloom. During the day millions of algae, called dinoflagellates, appear as a reddish-brown color on the ocean’s surface known as a “red tide“ and give off an unpleasant, sulfur-like odor as it decays. "Red tides” pop up all over the world but not all provide dazzling neon displays when night falls. When the mass of dinoflagellates are mixed up by waves or larger ocean life, a chemical reaction involving enzyme luciferase and compound luciferin produced by the algae is what causes bioluminescence, the creation of light by a living organism.

“Beneath the foggy sky the glowing sea is hazy, the soft light of a scarf over a lamp.” ― Melissa Barbeau

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