Just a group of dolphins gliding through the red tide in Newport Beach, California…
And creating a hypnotizing neon, bioluminescent glow!
This video by Newport Coastal Adventure is right out of Avatar:
And here a Youtube version by ABC 10 News for those who don’t have access to Facebook:
Yes, these are dolphins swimming in bioluminescent waves in Newport Beach, California on April 23, 2020.
The plankton outbreak is powerful this year with first reports dating from almost 10 days.
It is due to a thick red tide, during which the photosynthetic organisms swim upward toward the light, creating a thin, dense layer near the surface.
The bioluminescent dinoflagellates (in this case Lingulodinium polyedrum) make the water look bright blue when disturbed by waves, a passing boat or some speedy dolphins.
The glowing is a defense mechanism to protect them from tiny predators.
Lingulodinium polyedrum, unfortunately, produce yessotoxins that accumulate in shellfish.
I love dolphins, and when they swimm through bioluminescent plantons, they are just eerie.