In recent weeks, just off the coast of California, there is magic happening in the form of some pretty cool bioluminescence.
Photographer and videographer, Patrick Coyne, was recently out on a boat for a night time ride of the coast of Newport Beach, California. Coyne wanted to capture some of the beautiful blue glow that has been occurring in the waters. Besides the bioluminescence, Coyne was in for a treat when he spotted a group of dolphins swimming alongside the boat.
According to the Newport Coastal Adventure‘s Facebook post, “The bioluminescence off Newport Beach has been out of this world!”
They included a video shot during the night showing how the swimming dolphins “lit up the night.”
Coyne shared with the Orange County Registrar, that “As soon as the dolphins showed up, I literally shed a tear.”
Despite there being a global pandemic, the beaches are still open to the public. However, there are restrictions that come with it.
While the video of the glowing dolphins was incredible to watch, the capturing of the footage was incredibly difficult for Coyne.
The biolumenesnce off Newport Beach has been out of this world! Last night Capt. Ryan took the Zodiac out to look for dolphins, and together with friend Patrick Coyne filmed this amazing interaction with a pod of dolphins as they lit up the night.
Posted by Newport Coastal Adventure on Thursday, April 23, 2020
As he mentioned, the waters weren’t glowing all the time:
“It’s not something you can just plan.
It was showing up in little sections, we would drive the boat a bit, it would be bright and then it would go away.”
He added, “You can’t really find it, it’s pitch black. We could see it when it would start glowing, there’s no way for us to predict it.”
Regardless, Coyne stated that the boat was out on the water for hours, and just as they were about to head back and call it a night, the dolphins appeared. It was perfect timing.
I didn’t think I’d ever see this in my life, to be honest,” Coyne stated. “It was truly one of the most magical nights of my life.”
Locals were first alerted to the possibility of glowing waves after there were reports of red tides in the area – something that occurs when, according to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, bioluminescent phytoplankton “population increases to such huge numbers that it discolors the water.”
While not all red tides will bring about a bioluminescence effect, according to the institute, the waters off Southern California are known for some “dramatic nighttime displays.”
And, according to the Smithsonian, this naturally occurring phenomenon usually happens after there is a physical disturbance that triggers the phytoplankton population to come together.
Nature truly is a thing of wonder.
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.