Bioluminescence in Manly

Last night Nancy tipped us off that there waves were lighting up again. Nancy and Marcus saw this last year and told us about it and if it wasn’t for photographs on the internet we would never have believed them. So we drove down with the video camera and recorded some footage. It’s obviously better in real life but the video gives you a taste of what it was like, it is very cool –

What causes it? It appears after doing a little bit of internet research that an algae called Dinoflagellates is the cause of these blue lights appearing from the water. I think Dinoflagellates are almost translucent in the day time, you only really notice they are there whilst in the water when you paddle and your hands feelslike they are going through some tiny jelly fish.

When the wave starts to break the membrane of the Dinoflagellate is deformed slightly which causes it to give off a burst of photons for 1/100 of a second, hence why it looks like the waves are lighting up. Source