Newport Beach home to rare bioluminescent waves

Newport Beach bioluminescent waves

Mark Girardeau, owner of Orange County Outdoor, witnessed bioluminescent waves in Newport Beach, California on Wednesday night with two photographer friends Royce Hutain and Patrick Coyne.

Since this particular beach is still open to the public, these three friends were able to witnessed live and up close the bioluminescent waves.

They trio didn’t just get lucky. They knew the rare event was going to happen. Girardeau said Hutain is a nature and weather enthusiasts and was the reason they even knew to look for the rare blue waves.

“It was hard to tell from the shore,” Hutain told CNN. “So, we went back that night hoping to see something, and sure enough we did.”

By Lauren M. Johnson and Amanda Jackson, CNN

The photographers said they were the only ones on the beach that night.

“It was really awesome,” Girardeau told CNN. “When you see it in person, it’s really amazing to see, because it’s so hard to photograph.”

Bioluminescence is often referred to as nature’s glow sticks, thanks to the illumination that occurs in waters. According to Marine scientist Daniel Ward, the phenomenon occurs in some areas due to a chemical reaction that causes Cone Jellyfish (jelly-like sea creatures that glow in the water) and Dinoflagellates (bioluminescent plankton) to illuminate any time the water is disturbed.

He said it could be difficult to predict when the blooms of marine plankton would show up, even in their preferred warmer water temperatures.

“For the best experience of bioluminescence, the water needs to be disturbed, [through a] wave action or simply a swimmer splashing about as this triggers their defence mechanism,” Ward said.

Coyne shot video of their experience, which he posted on Instagram.

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