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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Chennai beaches sparkle with blue glow, residents flood Twitter with pics

Bioluminescence was seen at the Thiruvanmiyur, Injambakkam and Palavakkam beaches.

it-s-viral Updated: Aug 19, 2019 16:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
People couldn’t help but share pictures and videos of the #ChennaiSeaSparkle.
People couldn’t help but share pictures and videos of the #ChennaiSeaSparkle.(Twitter/@ajaw_)
         

Residents of Chennai witnessed an unusual sight on Sunday - beaches of the city sparkling with a blue glow. The sight left many in awe and several people took to Twitter to share the “spectacular” sight. The blue glow was caused by bioluminescence or blue sea sparkles rarely seen in Chennai. Bioluminescence was seen at the Thiruvanmiyur, Injambakkam and Palavakkam beaches and people couldn’t help but share pictures and videos of the #ChennaiSeaSparkle. Here are some tweets about the rare phenomenon.

Bioluminescence is the emission of light by marine organisms and occurs when phytoplanktons (microscopic marine plants), commonly known as dinoflagellates, produce light through chemical reactions in proteins.

While many who got a glimpse of this rare incident have been left impressed and many have described the sight as beautiful, ecologists and marine researchers are warning that this may be a negative sign.

“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. Studies alone could reveal further details about this bioluminescence,” said Pooja Kumar, Coastal Resource Center, Chennai.

Scientists with the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) and Tamil Nadu Dr Jayalalithaa Fisheries University (TNFU) are conducting a study to find the reason behind the phenomenon.

First Published: Aug 19, 2019 16:29 IST