Beach goers in Tasmania have recently been witness to an incredible sight—at night, the waters are emitting an electric blue glow ‘Sea Sparkles’.
Although this sounds like something out of science fiction, the reason for the sea sparkles can be easily explained.
The cerulean brilliance is caused by bioluminescent organisms specifically, Noctiluca scintillans. That when disturbed by waves or currents, flash a blue light. With so many of them in the water, the tiny cells are seemingly illuminating the entire coast.
Bioluminescence is a more than aesthetic occurrence.
Noctiluca was first seen back in Sydney Harbor in 1860. “In the 2000s we saw it really move southwards and now it’s here permanently in Tasmania”. “We have some evidence that ocean currents and the warming of the oceans have contributed to it. It’s definitely a species that is showing a spectacular range expansion in the last 20 years.” – Hallegraeff