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Red Tide Causes Glow-In-The-Dark Blue Waves On San Diego Beaches (VIDEOS)

Blue Waves San Diego

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 10/01/11 04:44 PM ET Updated: 12/01/11 05:12 AM ET

Who knew red tide caused blue waves?

San Diego's beaches are captivating many with an eerie nighttime phenomenon. It seems that "red tide" is causing bioluminescent glow-in-the-dark waves in the area, a sight that's almost too eerie to believe.

But you can see it for yourself in the videos below.

According to the Los Angeles Times, an unusual algae bloom has turned the surf red by day, and provided this effect at night.

The electric blue glow is caused by an algae bloom commonly referred to as a “red tide.” The organism, a phytoplankton called Lingulodinium polyedrum, has bloomed since late August, turning the water a brownish-red color in the daytime, according to UC San Diego scientists.

More specifically, the color is caused by a chemical reaction that results from the movement of the algae. Move a whole lot of algae at once (in say, the crash of a wave) and a brilliant flash of light becomes visible.

The event is mildly toxic, GrindTV reported, but isn't really harmful to humans beyond making a swim a bit uncomfortable. However the phenomenon has brought out all sorts of adventurous types, especially surfers who can't wait to say they rode glow-in-the-dark waves. Its at least a lot safer than this attempt at glow-in-the-dark surfing.

How much longer the blue surf will last is unknown. According to the L.A. Times, while some spots have cleared up others remain colored.

WATCH (A quick clip of the glow-in-the-dark waves):

WATCH (A more theatrical compilation of the waves):

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