Environment

SA coastline glows blue as photographers capture rare bioluminescent phenomenon

Photographers have captured a rare bioluminescent spectacle off the South Australian coast.

Image: Linda Irwin

Photographers have captured a rare bioluminescent spectacle off the South Australian coast.

Image: Instagram – @elise.dalmaso.photography
Facebook – Elise Dalmaso Photography

While the beautiful spectacle was captured along the South Coast at Waitpinga Campground by Elise Dalmaso, the phenomenon was also very visible on Kangaroo Island.

Vivonne Bay, known for its pristine beauty and once voted Australiaโ€™s best beach, transformed into a bioluminescent wonderland as the rough seas stirred up a magical sight.

This phenomenon, often referred to as the “blue tide,” occurs due to bioluminescent plankton blooms in the water. The chemical reaction inside these living cells generates light, causing the ocean to glow in hues of blue, green, and sometimes red when disturbed by waves or movement.

Photographer Linda Irwin, alerted by friends to the rare event, wasted no time in documenting the extraordinary scene. Even the Milky Way made an appearance, adding to the surreal ambiance of the bioluminescent algae bloom.

Experts attribute this natural wonder to a combination of recent warm weather and nutrient-rich waters. The stars seemed to align perfectly as the movement in the waves caused a neon blue flare-up rarely seen with such intensity.

Image: Linda Irwin

Although infrequent, this natural phenomenon is not entirely unheard of. The bioluminescent bloom has occurred several times in Port Lincoln as well, situated on SA’s Eyre Peninsula, within the past five years. Locals attest that the appearance witnessed last August surpassed previous occurrences in intensity. Also, Jervis Bay in New South Wales has gained recognition as another favoured location to witness this rare display.

As images of Vivonne Bay and the South Coasts’ bioluminescent beauty circulate, they serve as a reminder of the wonders of nature and the importance of preserving such delicate ecosystems.

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