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'Like in Avatar': Natural Phenomenon Making California's Ocean Waters Glow Blue Wows Internet

© AP Photo / Mark J. TerrillSpectators watch bioluminescent plankton light up the shoreline as they churn in the waves at Dockweiler State Beach during the coronavirus outbreak, Wednesday, April 29, 2020, in Los Angeles, Calif.
Spectators watch bioluminescent plankton light up the shoreline as they churn in the waves at Dockweiler State Beach during the coronavirus outbreak, Wednesday, April 29, 2020, in Los Angeles, Calif. - Sputnik International
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The phenomenon in question is caused by bioluminescence emitted by certain species of phytoplankton during an algal bloom event known as red tide.

A peculiar, but apparently not all that uncommon natural phenomenon was recently observed by beach goers in California as videos showing ocean waves there emitting a bright blue glow at night started popping up online.

While definitely a spectacular sight, there's actually nothing enigmatic to it as this phenomenon which is caused by bioluminescence emitted by certain species of phytoplankton during an algal bloom event known as red tide.

As Michael Latz, a bioluminescence expert and scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, explained to Newsweek, this year's red tide in California appears especially spectacular.

"The red tide is very large, reaching from Acapulco to the south to Los Angeles to the north," he said. "It is also the strongest in recent history, most likely in the last 50 years."

The event in question seemed to captivate the attention of quite a few social media users.

Some, however, were quick to point out that the red tide may be rather harmful to marine life.

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