Injambakkam and Eliot’s beach in Chennai glowed a mesmerizing blue light. Some people were confused by the scintilating blue waves while others revealed that it was a phenomenon called bioluminescence or sea tinkle.
According to The Indian Express, ‘the blue glow was emitted by Noctiluca scintillans (a type of phytoplankton found in algae) washing ashore. The phenomenon was completely biological and a treat for the eyes’.
The Hindu explains that Noctiluca excrete large amounts of ammonia which is harmful to fishes. Research has also linked them with coastal pollution and the imbalance in marine food chains.
Global warming is also directly proportional to the increased sightings of these algae. Hindustan Times quoted Pooja Kumar from the Coastal Resource Center elaborating
“It’s important to remember that this is a sign of a possibly unhealthy ocean. It could be due to excess release of ammonia and lack of oxygen. These microscopic planktons usually bloom in areas where there is an oxygen deficit, and potentially high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, which is usually bad news for the larger marine food web. Ocean warming could also be the reason for this.”
The scenery looks so beautiful but can be a warning signal that there are extreme changes in climate and atmosphere.