Tag Archives: Noctiluca scintillans

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.

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Malabar beach sparkles ghostly blue from red algae

By Leesa Smith, Southern Courier

December 04, 2012

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David Psaila captured amazing shots of the ‘BLUE LANTERN’ at Malabar Beach. News Limited
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Photo: David Psaila
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Photo: David Psaila
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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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Blood Red Beach Gets (Almost) Everyone Out of the Water


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abcNews –  November 27, 2012 9:48am

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gty algae dm 121127 wblog Blood Red Beach Gets (Almost) Everyone Out of the Water                                              (Image Credit: William West/AFP/Getty Images)

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Sydney’s famous beaches, popular with surfers, looked more like a scene out of a horror movie today when the waters were stained blood red from an algae bloom.

Bondi Beach, nearby Clovelly Beach and Gordon’s Bay were closed while authorities tested the water.

The beaches reopened in the late afternoon tafter the red algae, which was identified as Noctiluca scintillans or sea sparkle, begin to fade, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Algae blooms are most prevalent in hot, humid weather, the newspaper reported. Australia is currently enjoying the transition from spring to its summer, which begins in December.

PHOTOS: Red Tide Shocks Swimmers

While red algae isn’t toxic, people were advised to avoid swimming in the algae-colored water because its high ammonia levels can cause skin irritation.

“It has got quite a fishy smell to it,” lifeguard Bruce Hopkins told the Australian Associated Press. ”It can irritate some people’s skin but generally not much more than that.”

Hopkins said the red algae was rare but definitely not unheard of.

Despite the warnings, it didn’t stop some swimmers, including the one pictured above, from jumping in to the surf.

Earlier this month, Prince Charles visited Bondi Beach as part of a tour celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

 

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