A red tide just off San Diego shores is bringing a spectacular display of neon blue bioluminescence to San Diego beaches at night.
Michael Latz, a scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said the red tide is due to a massive aggregation of a type of marine plankton known as dinoflagellates with the scientific names Ceratium falcatiforme and Lingulodinium polyedra.
Scripps scientists do not know how long the current red tide will last, but previous events have lasted anywhere from one week to a month or more. The last red tide in the San Diego area was in 2013 and lasted a week.
The glowing waves are viewed best from a dark beach at least two hours after sunset.
Latz said there are several Scripps scientists sampling the current red tide to learn more about the genetic and metabolic characteristics of the organisms involved. He said it’s called a red tide because of the color in the organisms when they are observed in sunlight.
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