Nature & Wellness News

Bottlenose Dolphins Spotted Swimming in Bioluminescence Off Newport Beach Coast

By Ashlyn Davis

Newport Coastal Adventure shared rare footage of bottlenose dolphins creating a beautiful glow while gliding through the waters.

California-based videographer, Patrick Coyne, captured a rare and beautiful display of dolphins creating neon blue trails as they bathed in bioluminescence over a week ago. This week, he went out onto the water with Newport Coastal Adventure for a second time and lucked out again—except this time they were bottlenose dolphins.

There’s been a wave of bioluminescence along the SoCal coast, thanks to the plankton bloom. While too much plankton can have an effect on other underwater life, so far that hasn’t been the case. It’s also an undeniably rare and magical thing to see.

This is what Coyne and Newport Coastal Aventure team saw on their last adventure out on to the water: 

Bioluminescence is the light emitted from a living organism through a chemical reaction that happens in their bodies. It’s often seen in marine creatures like plankton, algae, and jellies. As dolphins glide through the water they disturb the bioluminescent phytoplankton which creates this incredible glowing effect.

Conditions have to be absolutely perfect for it to be visible. On this particular excursion, the crew waited for hours and got lucky as a pod of dolphins swam just beneath the boat—twice!

You can tick this off your virtual bucket list now! 

Feature image: Patrick Coyne