Natural Phenomenon

Natural+Phenomenon

Lauren Finch

Emilia Lekhter, Editor

Leaving home in the era of quarantine has finally come to a close end as glowing waves now crash on the shores of local beaches. 

This rare occurrence began in late March and is caused by a bloom of a common member of the Southern California plankton community. 

”The bioluminescence caused in San Diego this spring was caused by a dinoflagellate known as Lingulodinium polyedra. The bloom was larger than those we have had in the past, most likely due to the large rains and influx of fertilizer in the runoff. The plankton bloomed because of the cess nutrients, but now that the nutrients are used up, they have died, leaving a stinky mess and foamy beaches” said biology teacher Arno Chrispeels

Red tides like this only happen once every few years, and they do not always result in glowing waves. Along with this, there is no way to predict how long the bioluminescence will last. Previous red tide events have lasted anywhere from a week to a month. 

With everything going on right now, people have been going stir crazy in their homes. This natural phenomenon has been a  way for Titans to take their minds off of the global situation.

“Seeing the waves crash and glow was honestly so soothing. The bioluminescent waves show beauty in this tough time,” senior Talia Schauder said.

A lot of people have been posting stories to their social media showing off this beautiful and natural display of color. 

“It felt like I was in another dimension, It didn’t seem real because the color was so vibrant. Pictures and videos don’t do it justice, and I’m so happy I took the time to see it in person,” junior Lauren Finch said.  

The bioluminescent plankton glows when it is aggravated or disrupted, which is why the waves glow but the ocean does not.

“It was a magical experience being able to go and look at the glowing waves. It was also so cool when the sand was covered in a thin layer of water,  and you could stomp your feet and see the ground light up blue,” junior Ansley Keller said. 

 As of  May 15, the bioluminescence could still be seen in the crashing waves of  San Diego beaches. Since it is uncertain when this red tide will end, Titans should take the chance to see this natural beauty for themselves while it is still possible!