1211044200

1211044200

HERMOSA BEACH, CA - APRIL 25: Bioluminescent waves glow off the coast of Hermosa Beach, CA, Saturday, April 25, 2020. The phenomenon is associated with a red tide, or an algae bloom, filled with dinoflagellates which react with bioluminescence when jostled by the moving water. During the daytime, due to the pigmentation of the dinoflagellates, the water can turn a deep red, brown, or orange color, giving red tides their name.(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Photo by: Jay L. Clendenin

Jay L. Clendenin

California’s Ocean is Neon - and It’s All Natural!

The California coastline is glowing and it’s not a trick of the imagination. Nature is putting on a show and it’s all thanks to some of the smallest organisms on the planet.

May 01, 2020

Bioluminescent plankton are lighting up beaches from Baja all the way up to Los Angeles. These tiny, single-celled organisms are called dinoflagellates. When they become concentrated in large groups, they discolor the ocean water, resulting in the red tides that are visible during the day. California is currently experiencing a sizable bloom of these plankton, which is causing the amazing bioluminescent phenomenon at night.

Read More

What Causes Bioluminescent Waves? 00:55

The science behind bioluminescent waves is as impressive as the spectacle they display for anyone lucky enough to witness them.

Let It Glow

The glow emitted by the dinoflagellates is meant to be a defense mechanism to ward off predators and attract other animals that would prey on their predators. Large amounts of movement in the water trigger the plankton to light up which is why crashing waves and playful dolphins look otherworldly.

1222152512

1222152512

SAN CLEMENTE, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 30: A surfer rides on a bioluminescent wave at the San Clemente pier on April 30, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

Photo by: Joe Scarnici

Joe Scarnici

SAN CLEMENTE, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 30: A surfer rides on a bioluminescent wave at the San Clemente pier on April 30, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

Rise in Red Tides

Red tides are difficult to predict and can last anywhere between one week to one month. According to scientist Michael Latz from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at UC San Diego, red tide events are increasing locally and globally, but more research is needed to understand exactly why.

For now, the coast continues to light up at night, and Mother Nature proves once again, that she is the ultimate showstopper.

Next Up

The Battle to Save California Mountain Lions

California is considering protecting mountain lions in certain parts of the state through the Endangered Species Act – but not everyone is happy about it.

Environmentalists Who Changed (and Continue to Change) the World

Here are five women who made it their life's mission to make the world a better place through environmental activism.

Bronx Zoo Tigers and Lions have Tested Positive for COVID-19

Nadia, as seen on Animal Planet’s THE ZOO, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus along with six other large cats—all are expected to recover, according to zoo officials.

An Underwater Adventure From the Comfort of Your Couch

The Georgia Aquarium is live streaming from some of their epic habitats!

First Dog in the US Tests Positive for Coronavirus

A pug in North Carolina has tested positive for COVID-19, after the virus worked its way through almost his whole family.

Latest COVID-19 Ruling is Terrible News for the Planet

Companies do not need to meet environmental standards during the coronavirus epidemic, the Environmental Protection Agency has said, in a move that could have deadly impacts on the planet.

Wildfire Destruction Amplified by Fire Tornadoes

Escalating temperatures and high winds come together in late summer to create the perfect firestorm. For the past several weeks, wildfires have been plaguing the western United States and there is one additional red flag - tornadoes.

Experts Say Plan Now for Pet Separation Anxiety

For many people, the silver lining of the pandemic is the time we've been able to spend with our furry friends. But, as places begin to open up, the separation will be hard. Here are a few ways to get your pet ready for the time when you go back to work.

Could our Outdoors be Saved by the Unlikeliest Source?

Congress just passed a once in a lifetime 'Great America Outdoors Act' and here's what that means for the environment.

Cicadas: An Early Invasion

Match point, 2020. Early cicadas are here to ruin your quiet outdoor moments.