Glow-in-the-Dark Waves Light Up Santa Cruz Beach

Visitors to the Seacliff State Beach this week may have been able to witness a beautiful natural phenomenon that makes the waves in the Pacific Ocean glow in the dark.

A bloom of bioluminescent phytoplankton has appeared off the coast in Santa Cruz County, giving the appearance of glowing water during the night as the waves roll to shore. The bloom usually occurs when the ocean has an influx of nutrients followed by a calmness that allows the water to form layers, causing the phytoplankton to illuminate in response to the motion.

While we’ve seen this type of glowing natural phenomenon throughout California (mostly in SoCal), it’s a rare time we’re seen such an illumination in the water in Northern California. According to photographers, the glowing began to die-down on Sunday evening and it’s unclear if it will come back in the near future.

Here are some of the best photos taken during the bloom of bioluminescent phytoplankton on the Seacliff State Beach:

View this post on Instagram

Nature's bioluminescent light show last night. I was out there for 4 hours soaking it all in, until the moon set below the horizon around 4am. It's been awhile since I've seen bioluminescence. The last time was in Feb 2018, in Big Sur. Check out my stories for the video I took! . . . . . . #santacruz #californiacoast #seascape #seascapephotography #seascapes #santacruzlife #yoursantacruz #visitsantacruz #exploresantacruz #santacruznow #santacruzwaves #montereybay #norcal #northerncalifornia #northerncali #californialove #seacliff #seacliffbeach #aptos #seacliffstatebeach #riodelmar #aptosia #cementship #biolumenescence #bioluminescentwaves #bioluminescent #phytoplankton #nightphotography #nightphoto #nightscapes

A post shared by Johnny Chien (@johnnychien.photo) on

View this post on Instagram

Hope some of you locally got to see the bioluminescent waves last night (Saturday). It was still going on. I heard there was a traffic jam earlier in the evening, as everyone wanted to see it. I headed out at 1am (no traffic) and shot til 3am until the fog rolled in, and covered the moon. I took this shot on Friday night, as the moon was setting at around 4am. Check my stories for the video of this shot. . . . . . . . #santacruzcalifornia #californiacoast #seascape #seascapephotography #seascapes #santacruzlife #yoursantacruz #visitsantacruz #exploresantacruz #santacruznow #santacruzwaves #montereybay #norcal #northerncalifornia #northerncali #californialove #seacliff #seacliffbeach #aptos #seacliffstatebeach #riodelmar #cementship #biolumenescence #bioluminescentwaves #bioluminescent #phytoplankton #nightphotography #nightphoto #moonset #nightscapes

A post shared by Johnny Chien (@johnnychien.photo) on

View this post on Instagram

Happy Monday! Another angle of the Cement Ship, aka SS Palo Alto with the bioluminescent waves. I took this picture on Friday night. I was not available Sunday night, but I heard that the bioluminescent intensity faded a lot, and not as bright as the previous nights. Will it come back? That is anyone's guess. This picture was the clear favorite of pics that I posted to Facebook so far. I do sell prints, so if you are interested in buying a print from me, send me a DM on Instagram. Have a great week! #santacruz #californiacoast #seascape #seascapephotography #seascapes #santacruzlife #yoursantacruz #visitsantacruz #exploresantacruz #santacruznow #santacruzwaves #montereybay #norcal #northerncalifornia #northerncali #californialove #seacliff #seacliffbeach #aptos #seacliffstatebeach #riodelmar #aptosia #cementship #biolumenescence #bioluminescentwaves #bioluminescent #phytoplankton #nightphotography #nightphoto #nightscapes

A post shared by Johnny Chien (@johnnychien.photo) on

Active NorCal

Northern California's Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close
%d bloggers like this: