Bioluminescent Red Tide

Pictured here, the bioluminescent "red tide" in Carlsbad. The blue, neon glow of the tide is created by algae blooms, known as red tides, that are filled with phytoplankton called "dinoflagellates.” The organisms react with bioluminescence when jostled by the moving water. According to the The Scripps Institution of Oceanography, "Where the wave crashes onto the shore, as it rolls over that’s where the turbulence is highest". Although the exact cause and length of time of the red tide is unknown by scientists, the specific species of dinofflaglate is Lingulodinium polyedra also known as L .poly. Post your bioluminsecant photos below, for all to see! thanks to our members who make it happen!

Have you checked out the ocean via the Scripps Pier Cam before? If not click here! The @Scripps Institute of Oceanography (tag them) has a pier cam and La Jolla shores cam, where you can see the red tide for yourself during the day. The cameras are a bit too far away to see the bioluminescent night, but give it a try!


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1580 Cannon Road,

Carlsbad, CA 92008

(760) 804-1969


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