A large algal bloom has transformed an Australian beach into a glowing bright blue.The bioluminescent algae, commonly called sea sparkle, has delighted locals at Tasmania's Preservation Bay.The natural phenomenon occurs when the tiny organisms emit light as a defence mechanism, according to an expert. It is typically seen in calm waters.Although not toxic, the algae can cause skin irritations in some people."The whole bay was iridescent blue," said Brett Chatwin, who photographed the spectacle near his home."I was gobsmacked. It was just an amazing sight."Officially called Noctiluca scintillans, the species uses bioluminescence for protection, said aquatic botanist Prof Gustaaf Hallegraeff."It acts a bit like a burglar alarm," he told the BBC."Something wants to eat you, you flash at it and then you scare it away."Prof Hallegraeff, from the University of Tasmania, said it could also disrupt the food chain."If you have a big bloom like that it behaves like a vacuum cleaner, it eats everything away," he said.You might also be interested in:The interrupted interview - take twoBoaty McBoatface submarine set for first voyage'Don't bag up dog poo in countryside'Mr Chatwin said he had not seen the algae near his home before."We've had virtually not a breath of wind for two weeks," he said.In 2012, Sydney's famous Bondi Beach was closed after the same algae species turned the sea a shade of red.
Tags bioluminescence bioluminescent beach red tide nature bioluminescent phytoplankton wildlife phytoplankton national geographic animals ammonia fire of sea sea sparkles red algae noctiluca scintillans clovelly bondi beach maldives beach maldives honeymooner beach glows beautiful beach glows documentary survival discover explore science 2011 natgeo nat geo bioluminescence on camera
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Science 2011 Thoughts and prayers 2011s nagged nagger natter neato nag stage neater native nature neaten nautic nogo note nattier natters near go naked tango natty neter no go noter nudge nuter natal noted notes outgo danger nigged nudged nugget nutmeg dagger naught not to nutter not do not got no two not good nag at get go git go had go let go not aged made go nagged nagger natter neato nag stage neater native nature neaten nautic nogo note nattier natters near go naked tango natty neter no go noter nudge nuter natal noted notes outgo danger nigged nudged nugget nutmeg dagger naught not to nutter not do not got no two not good nag at get go git go had go let go not aged made go Nat Geos Thoughts and prayers Nat Geo nat geo neat ant nar nay bat mat gnat net nit not nut cat eat fat gat hat nab nag nap oat pat rat sat tat vat a t n'at Thoughts and prayers Nat ego gee goo gel gem ges get gpo ceo leo Geo Thoughts and prayers geo camcorder Polaroid 35mm Kodak video camera camera Thoughts and prayers Camera