Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Red tide causes neon blue surf on San Diego coast

Red tide causes neon blue surf on San Diego coast

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 luminous glow lighted the wave approaching the beach surprising everyone.

If San Diego residents look out toward the ocean at night, they may be able to catch a glimpse of a rare natural phenomenon.

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

Bioluminescent light shows are not uncommon globally, but the last red tide in San Diego was in 2013 - and it's no less handsome each time they grace the oceans.

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The waves along San Diego's coastline are lighting up with a bright blue glow.

"They were just lit up in this incredible light that no photo can really do it justice", Bay, a professional photographer, said. Scripps scientist Michael Latz said the red tide is due to massive numbers of dinoflagellates including Lingulodinium polyedra. "Just having natural phenomena where the lights are glowing and the water is lit up - it's awesome".

The current red tide in San Diego is not harmful or toxic, though. "As the name suggests, the bloom of algae often turns the water red", NOAA states, adding that not all algal blooms are harmful. A popular HAB occurs every year off Florida's Gulf Coast, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The red tides are unpredictable and not all produce a bioluminescence. Earlier, blooms have lasted between a week to a month or more, however, visibility is not guaranteed.

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