This week featured incredible, stunning displays just off the coast of San Diego. The images below show just how impressive the ocean waters looked at night due to the red tide. Scientist Michael Latz says that, “the red tide is due to massive numbers of dinoflagellates including Lingulodinium polyedra.” In simpler terms, this bioluminescence of the water is due to algae blooms that contain a large quantity of plankton. The last known occurrence of the bioluminescence-producing red tide was back in the year of 2013.

Credit: John H. Moore

Unfortunately, this red tide makes it dangerous for humans to go into the water. According to the NOAA, “the toxin can become airborne and cause respiratory issues and eye irritation. These symptoms can be more severe for people with serious respiratory issues such as asthma.” These red tides are very common in Florida during the summertime, which can sometimes keep people out of the ocean for weeks.

Featured image credit: catalano82/Wikimedia Commons


Jackson is Head of Content at WeatherOptics and produces several forecasts and manages all social media platforms. Previously, Jackson forecasted local weather for southwestern Connecticut, founding his website, Jackson's Weather, in the March of 2015. He is currently studying Meteorology and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Miami.

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