‘A Magical Experience’: Beautiful Images Capture Rare Bioluminescent Plankton Off The Coast Of Wales

June 20, 2017

Photographer Alyn Wallace captured these stunning images of rare bioluminescent plankton in the sea at Three Cliffs Bay in Swansea this week. “I had to pinch myself this morning,” he wrote on Facebook. “Last night I meandered through dark woodlands and waded across a crab-infested estuary to get to this spot where bioluminescent plankton were lighting up the shores.

“Every step and splash I made just lit up with an unreal blue glow.”

The bioluminescent plankton are Noctiluca scintillans, also known as sea sparkle.

In daylight the phenomenon presents itself as a ‘red tide’, with water turning a deep red, brown, or orange colour.

During the night the plankton glow bright blue when disturbed by waves or currents.

“This is something I’ve always dreamed of seeing,” said Mr Wallace. “It’s known to appear in North Wales in the summer but not so common down south.

“When I realised it was new moon on an extraordinarily hot day as the tide was coming in at night I thought I’d try my chances.

“I could see the blue glow as the waves broke on the shore so I descended the cliffs … It was like being in the film Avatar, every step I made and every splash of the sea just lit up with an incredibly beautiful blue glow.

“Shortly after I took a few shots I stripped off and went for a swim under the stars surrounded by the bioluminescent glow, one of the most magical and surreal experiences of my life.”

(First reported by The Telegraph)http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/06/20/rare-blue-plankton-seen-coast-wales/   (June 20, 2017)

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