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
This natural phenomenon is known as bioluminescence or 'sea sparkle'. This sparkle is seen in calm waters.
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.
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."
No! But it can disrupt the food chain of other marine species, like shellfish, if present in large quantities.
The ocean currents and the warming of the oceans may have contributed to the spread of bioluminescence in recent years, experts say.
It was moving southwards in 2000s. But it appears to have found permanent stay in Tasmania.
It has expanded rapidly in last 20 years.