And Now Sydney’s Malabar Beach Glows Blue

AFTER the eastern beach coastline resembled the Red Sea last Tuesday, the “night lantern” visited Sydney’s Malabar beach that evening.


Malabar beach sparkles ghostly blue from red algae

By Leesa Smith, Southern Courier

December 04, 2012


Malabar beach - 1
David Psaila captured amazing shots of the ‘BLUE LANTERN’ at Malabar Beach. News Limited
Malabar beach - 2
Photo: David Psaila
Malabar beach - 3
Photo: David Psaila

These photos have not been digitally enhanced – in fact, photographer Dr David Psaila said the water was an even more spectacular colour blue than that shown in these images, the Southern Courier reports.

“The organism responsible, Noctiluca Scintillans known as “night lantern” is very aptly named, as it will luminesce a bright blue when it is disturbed by waves,” he said.

The Chifley scientist said the red algae that crept along the east coast last week contained a chemical called luciferin which was a common protein found in bioluminescent animals.

.“It’s a chemical reaction that causes light,” he said. “It is often found in deep sea creatures and is the exact same chemical that causes fire flies to glow.”

Dr Psaila said although he had seen this effect before but never to this degree.

“The reason why they are probably not seeing it at other beaches is that those beaches would have a lot more lights around so its really hard to see whereas at Malabar – you see the waves rolling in and they are all blue,” he said.

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