SAN DIEGO — Bioluminescence — It’s like electric waves rolling along the coastline, and it has been spotted in San Diego, once again.
San Diego photographer Vishwas Lokesh, known as @shotbyvish on Instagram, took his Canon camera down to the coast after dark this week to capture some illuminating moments on two particular beaches.
As seen in the video at the top of this article, bioluminescent waves were seen rolling along La Jolla Shores both Monday and Tuesday night. The waters at Torrey Pines State Beach also became a light show for onlookers post-twilight Tuesday.
“This famed glowing phenomenon is triggered by dinoflagellates, often referred to as ‘fire plants’ for their ability to emit light. Essentially, these are chemicals generated by marine organisms when agitated,” Lokesh explained to his viewers.
In essence, he’s referring to microalgae that’s associated with what’s known as a red tide, or a discoloration in ocean waters that’s the result of an algae bloom.
When these dinoflagellates, or bioluminescent marine organisms, are disturbed by a breaking wave, the physical disruption induces the plankton to release a flash of light. In turn, these electric waves are created.
Red tides can last briefly or for several weeks, which makes bioluminescent wave-hunting an arduous feat at times.
“While we’ve experienced numerous bioluminescence sightings along our coast this year, predicting the exact time, location or duration remains challenging,” said Lokesh.
It’s hard to know how long the bioluminescence at these San Diego beaches will be visible, which is why this local photographer is encouraging electric wave-seekers to act fast.
“Don’t miss the opportunity to check it out!” said Lokesh. “Experiencing the waves glow is always a fantastic feeling, and I feel grateful to have witnessed it and captured videos several times over the years.”
The @shotbyvish photographer is also known for capturing the “Scrippshenge” phenomenon, West Coast sunsets, and marine life.