A glowing plankton bloom in Big Sur, California

From early January and into February, the waves of Big Sur have been emanating a dim, blue glow. Most divers are familiar with the phenomenon of bioluminescence, however, conditions have to be just right to see it in Big Sur and especially to be able to capture it in a photograph. However, several photographers have been capturing the bloom of glowing dinoflagellates, which are a result of high nutrient levels in the water and a high pressure system preventing the typical winter storms from “stirring up” the waters.

This is what Steve Haddock, senior scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute had to say about the bloom:

“The species counts from Santa Cruz show low to moderate numbers of the ‘usual suspects’ of luminous species that we would expect to cause such a bloom.”

Read the full article here.