MAY 16, 2018 12:40 AM PDT

Bioluminescence Lights Up San Diego Tide

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Off the coast of San Diego, microscopic phytoplankton called dinoflagellates are putting on an amazing display of bioluminescence. Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego are taking samples from this red tide, which happens when phytoplankton aggregates.

The phytoplankton, Ceratium falcatiforme, and Lingulodinium polyedra, glow in response to movement in the water. The microbes swim toward the surface of the water during the day, creating a thin layer on the surface. During the day, it makes the water look red and at night, it glows blue.

The phytoplankton are not thought to be harmful, but some people may experience a reaction if they are exposed. Scripps scientists are studying them to try to learn more about red tides, which are very unpredictable.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
OCT 24, 2020
Space & Astronomy
The Closest Black Hole to Earth Isn't a Black Hole After All
OCT 24, 2020
The Closest Black Hole to Earth Isn't a Black Hole After All
Earlier this year, astronomers reportedly identified the 'closest black hole to Earth every discovered'. However ...
NOV 12, 2020
Health & Medicine
Measles Cases and Deaths Surge Worldwide
NOV 12, 2020
Measles Cases and Deaths Surge Worldwide
Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a stat ...
NOV 19, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Unlocking the Secret of a Tasty Cold Drink
NOV 19, 2020
Unlocking the Secret of a Tasty Cold Drink
Sour beer isn't for everyone: its unique taste of acidity and tartness could excite some but turn off others.  ...
DEC 15, 2020
Immunology
The Possibility of Improving an Older Adult's Response to Vaccines
DEC 15, 2020
The Possibility of Improving an Older Adult's Response to Vaccines
A recent study published in the eLife journal examined how they can improve older adults' responses to vaccines ...
FEB 24, 2021
Plants & Animals
Texas Freeze Caused Historic Sea Turtle Stranding Event
FEB 24, 2021
Texas Freeze Caused Historic Sea Turtle Stranding Event
In addition to the millions of humans who suffered through Texas' historic freeze last week, local wildlife also exp ...
MAY 29, 2021
Space & Astronomy
First Matter in the Universe Flowed Like Tap Water
MAY 29, 2021
First Matter in the Universe Flowed Like Tap Water
In two separate studies, researchers led by those at the University of Copenhagen and Queen Mary University of London fo ...
Loading Comments...