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Bioluminescent Plankton Glow In Bloom On The Shores Of Hong Kong
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Science, Weird7 years ago

Bioluminescent Plankton Glow In Bloom On The Shores Of Hong Kong

On the night of January 22nd, the shores of Hong Kong glowed blue with wave upon wave of beautiful bioluminescent water in natural phenomena commonly known as Sea Sparkle. However, this magical luminescence display, caused by blooms of a microscopic dinoflagellate called Noctiluca scintillans, was brought on by something less-than-inspiring: environmental pollution.

Noctiluca glow in the dark when they’re disturbed, which is why the blooms are primarily visible on the shores, where they’re tossed by waves. This recent bloom was caused by agricultural runoff – fertilizers and other chemicals washed from farmland into the sea by rain. The bioluminescence Noctiluca that feed on these chemicals are not toxic in and of themselves, but other similar organisms are, and the ammonia they excrete as waste can help make the toxins released by other blooming microorganisms even worse.

For the time being, however, nature photography enthusiasts willing to spend the night on some long-exposure photos are being treated to a truly special opportunity. Scroll down below to check the stunning pictures for yourself!

(h/t: theatlantic, huffpost)

Image credits: Kim Cheung/AP

Image credits: Kim Cheung/AP

Image credits: Kim Cheung/AP

Image credits: Kim Cheung/AP

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AlfordLau
Community Member
7 years ago

You know what, the kaiju are back to Hong Kong. Calling Gypsy Danger.

DavidL.
Community Member
7 years ago

I had a feeling it was going to be caused by pollution :(

DeniseCluney
Community Member
6 years ago

how do they glow what do they eat to make them this way love the color with the black back ground and the blue white plankton beautiful

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AlfordLau
Community Member
7 years ago

You know what, the kaiju are back to Hong Kong. Calling Gypsy Danger.

DavidL.
Community Member
7 years ago

I had a feeling it was going to be caused by pollution :(

DeniseCluney
Community Member
6 years ago

how do they glow what do they eat to make them this way love the color with the black back ground and the blue white plankton beautiful

Load More Comments
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