Visitors at the Thiruvanmiyar beach in Chennai were mesmerised by the sight of bioluminescent waves hitting the shore on Sunday night, August 18.
Dozens of people walked over to the beach to witness the beautiful bluish light reflecting in the night sky.
Several took to social media to post pictures and videos of the magnificent phenomenon at the beaches along the East Coast Road in Chennai.
— T R B Rajaa (@TRBRajaa) August 18, 2019
Bioluminescence is a rarity, which occurs due to the presence of marine-dwelling phytoplankton called Noctiluca Scintillans. These free-living creatures convert their chemical energy into light energy due to which we see the wonderful sea sparkles when they are washed ashore. They produce light in their cytoplasm when they are disturbed.
Noctiluca Scintillans are found in many sea-dwelling organisms such as bacteria, algae, jellyfish, worms, crustaceans, sea stars, fish and sharks.
Although the appearance is certainly breathtaking, the phenomenon is an issue of worry, nonetheless, as it can be an indicator of climate change.
Experts suggest that the phenomenon can have a negative impact on deep-sea fishing, as the phenomenon is responsible for leading to the death of fish. The organisms when they find it difficult to survive in these zones and can distress the ecosystem of the sea.
Sea sparkles feed on diatoms, which are considered one of the most important planktonic organisms at the start of the fish-food chain. Their presence is a marker of low oxygen levels and they excrete large quantities of ammonia in the water.
So the beautiful sight, which becomes visible to the naked eye, can be considered a sign of danger as it occurs only when these organisms are in abundance.