Beaches In Australia Are Glowing Iridescent Blue: Know The Science Behind This Amazing 'Sea Sparkle'

Sea sparkles as if lit from below!

Beaches In Australia Are Glowing Iridescent Blue: Know The Science Behind This Amazing 'Sea Sparkle'
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Australian photographers have taken pictures of beaches that sparkle. They look as if the sea is lit from below.

Below are the photographs of Preservation Bay situated on north-west coast of Tasmania island in Australia. The water near the beaches appears sparkling blue.

Read on to know the science behind it.

Also read: These Beautiful Sea Creatures Can Kill You

What exactly is this blue sparkle?

Tasmania beach

This natural phenomenon is known as bioluminescence or 'sea sparkle'. This sparkle is seen in calm waters.

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So, what causes the sea to light up?

So, what causes the sea to light up?
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It is caused by billions of single-celled algae or plant plankton, called 'Noctiluca scintillans'. This flashing is a defence mechanism deployed to scare sea creatures which may gulp them down.

The evidence

The evidence
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Gustaaf Hallegraeff, a professor of aquatic botany at the University of Tasmania, said, "There is evidence that shows if you offer an animal a choice between a luminescent plankton and a non-luminescent plankton, they avoid the luminescent one."

Is this harmful for humans?

Is this harmful for humans?
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No! But it can disrupt the food chain of other marine species, like shellfish, if present in large quantities.

What contributed to its spread?

What contributed to its spread?
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The ocean currents and the warming of the oceans may have contributed to the spread of bioluminescence in recent years, experts say.

Permanently in Tasmania!

Permanently in Tasmania!
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It was moving southwards in 2000s. But it appears to have found permanent stay in Tasmania.

It is now spreading.

It is now spreading.
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It has expanded rapidly in last 20 years.

Do you find it astonishing?