Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Rachel Ganz
Observer Staff Writer 

Chasing after the Phenomenal Blue Bioluminescent Waves in Southern California

The L.Poly will exude a blue light using luciferin, a light-emitting molecule, as a protection gimmick to scare off any predator or unknown intruder.

 

Rachel Danielle Ganz

The blue wave phenomenon happens every year in Baja, but can rarely be seen this far north, and with this much intensity.

When the California beaches reopened this past weekend, after being closed due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, I had an insatiable desire to see the remarkable blue bioluminescent waves before they vanished. They were illuminating the beaches from Baja California to Santa Cruse for over a month.

On Friday eve May 22, 2020 I drove to the Santa Monica beach by the Pier and anxiously waited for a few hours past sunset, but no blue waves were to be seen.

After speaking with a nice couple by the Pier, I was informed that they had seen these magnificent blue bioluminescent waves on the beach near Marina Del Ray and Venice beach a few nights before. I immediately drove to the Marina Del Ray beach arriving around 10:30 PM and was greeted by the astonishing neon blue waves.

Rachel Danielle Ganz

The L.Poly will exude a blue light using luciferin, a light-emitting molecule, as a protection gimmick to scare off any predator or unknown intruder.

These celestial bioluminescent blue waves are created by the millions of diminutive dinoflagellate phytoplankton known as Lingulodinium polyedra L.Poly) which is less than 35 micrometer in diameter.

The L.Poly will exude a blue light using luciferin, a light-emitting molecule, as a protection gimmick to scare off any predator or unknown intruder.

During the daytime this algae plankton explodes into a "red tide", giving the water a reddish brown color.

While the "red tide' is not poisonous to humans, although many surfers and swimmers have experienced some itchiness following their once in a life time dive and encounter with these blue waves. This occurrence happens only one in a few years in Southern California.

I feel fortunate to have witnessed this year's spectacular light show of phenomenal dazzling blue bioluminescent waves on Marina Del Ray beach this past weekend

 

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