LOOK: Blue algae makes Tasmania coastline glow in the dark | Inquirer Technology
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LOOK: Blue algae makes Tasmania coastline glow in the dark

/ 12:22 PM March 16, 2017

Residents at Preservation Bay and Rocky Cape in Tasmania, Australia were treated to an enticing sight, as the northwest coastline displayed a magnificent glow in recent days.

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According to The Telegraph, the bioluminescence in the waters was caused by Noctiluca scintillans  (popularly known as sea sparkle), which are single-celled planktons that emit a blue light.

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Since Monday, several beachgoers have been sharing photos of the stunning phenomenon on social media, which aquatic experts described “as signs of climate change.”

Gustaaf Hallegraeff, a professor in aquatic botany at the University of Tasmania, described the algae’s flashing mechanism as defense, to fend off predators.

“Imagine there’s a little animal that wants to eat this plankton and suddenly it flashes at you,” he told ABC News.

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Furthermore, the scientist also revealed that the algae has no toxic effects on human, but may possess  high ammonia content which may irritate fish around the area.

But despite its monochromatic allure, Hallegraeff warned beachgoers to still be mindful when getting close to the luminescent waters.

“This is an organism that eats other species and so if there’s a huge amount of it, and basically it behaves like a vacuum cleaner and it eats away all the other plankton,” he said. Khristian Ibarrola/JB

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TOPICS: Australia, Blue plankton, Noctiluca scintillans, Preservation Bay, Rocky Cape, sea sparkle, Tasmania
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