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WATCH: Dolphins ‘glow’ while swimming through bioluminescent waves

/ 05:24 PM April 27, 2020

A photographer caught footage of dolphins appearing to “glow” as they swam through bioluminescent waves in California, United States.

Patrick Coyne saw the mammals appearing neon blue while he was sailing on the waters in Newport Beach last Wednesday, April 22. He posted a video of the dolphins on his Facebook page the day after.

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“Last night was truly one of the most magical nights of my life,” Coyne said.

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Last night was truly one of the most magical nights of my life. Capt. Ryan Lawler of Newport Coastal Adventure invited me along to capture rare video of Dolphins swimming in bioluminescence. The first time I saw this actually filmed was a few months back while watching a Night on Earth documentary on Netflix. The second I saw that footage it became a dream of mine to one day capture something similar and that’s exactly what we did. This was by far the most challenging video I’ve shot for a number of reason. For starters the bioluminescence has sweet spots to where it shows up and then fades away so while on the water it’s impossible to just find it. Not only that but actually finding any type of animal in pitch black is just so ridiculously hard. Conditions have to be absolutely perfect the bioluminescence to show up and to have an animal swim through it so we can film it. On top of all that just trying to nail the focus at such a wide aperture with something moving in the water was a nightmare. We were out for a few hours and on our final stretch back we finally had 2 Dolphins pop up to start the incredible glowing show. A few minutes later and we were greeted by a few more more which was incredible. I’m honestly still processing this all and I can’t thank @newportcoastaladventure enough for having me out because without them none of this would be possible. Be sure to check our their edit from last night as well! I hope you all enjoy this video. ————————————————————————————If you want to see more please be sure to check out my Instagram! @patrickc_la https://www.instagram.com/patrickc_la/?hl=enShot on a Sony a7Sii with a Rokinon 35mm Cine DS T1.5 Len. Shutter speed: 1/50Aperture T2 ISO 80,000

Posted by Patrick Coyne on Thursday, April 23, 2020

Coyne added that he saw the animals playfully swimming in the ocean when he tagged along with Capt. Ryan Lawler of the touring agency Newport Coastal Adventure. 

The neon blue “glow” surrounding the dolphins is caused by bioluminescent organisms. According to National Geographic, these organisms, such as a type of plankton called dinoflagellates, sometimes emit a bluish-green light when disturbed.

Coyne said that it became one of his dreams to record animals swimming through bioluminescent waves after seeing it on a Netflix documentary called “Night on Earth”. After successfully getting footage of the dolphins, he admitted that it was “the most challenging video” he has shot “for a number of [reasons].”

“For starters the bioluminescence has sweet spots to where it shows up and then fades away so while on the water it’s impossible to just find it,” Coyne explained. “Not only that but actually finding any type of animal in pitch black is just so ridiculously hard.”

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On top of all that just trying to nail the focus at such a wide aperture with something moving in the water was a nightmare,” he added.

Coyne and Lawler were only able to see the mammals up close when they were making their way back to the shore after a “few hours” on the waters. The photographer also pointed out that the “incredible glowing show” started with two dolphins that were later joined by two more. Ryan Arcadio/JB

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TOPICS: beaches, California, dolphins, mammals, United States
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