A Huge Red Tide Is Bringing A Spectacular Display Of Bioluminescence To SoCal Beaches - Secret Los Angeles
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A Huge Red Tide Is Bringing A Spectacular Display Of Bioluminescence To SoCal Beaches

By Ashlyn Davis May 4, 2020

Bioluminescence SoCal

Take a look at the mesmerizing bioluminescence appearing along the SoCal coast.

There is an incredible plankton bloom happening off the coast of Southern California and it’s creating an incredible display of neon blue waves. This particular bloom stretches from Baja California to Los Angeles, which is especially large.

Dinoflagellate Lingulodinium polyedra, forms part of the plankton population in Southern California. Each cell of this microscopic organism is only 35 µm in diameter—which means you need a lot of them to create the blue radiance.

Their reddish daytime appearance discolors the water which is how the term “red tide” came about, according to Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. A red tide isn’t guaranteed to produce bioluminescence. And when they do, it’s not exactly easy to find.

While not everyone is able to venture out to see the phenomenon, many locals have captured beautiful visuals for everyone to enjoy. From electric blue swirls to dolphin light shows and surfers catching glowing waves, here is a roundup of incredible shots from along the coast.

Featured image: Brandon Herrick via @socal_captures

It’s important to note that while the plankton is beautiful to look at it can affect toxicity levels in the water and affect the respiratory systems of some.

How long will this last? Scientists is unable to say. Red tides are unpredictable and can last from a few weeks to months.

See also: Look Out For This Year’s Last Full Supermoon, The Flower Moon

Featured image: Brandon Herrick