Blue waves light up Mediterranean shores

Nature's Light Show Image: Shutterstock/ RugliG

RESIDENTS along the shores of Rincón de la Victoria and Torre de Benagalbón have been treated to a mesmerising sight recently: the breaking waves transition from white to electric blue for fleeting moments. While this might seem like magic, it’s actually the work of Noctiluca scintillans, the same type of zooplankton responsible for the famous red and green tides on the coast.

The Phenomenon Unveiled

This curious manifestation, however, comes with a cautionary note. According to Juan Antonio López, president of the Mediterranean Sea Aula del Mar Foundation (FAMM), such occurrences are often triggered by a ‘chemical imbalance caused by discharges that may not necessarily be toxic.’ It’s simply a biochemical reaction, possibly exacerbated this time by rising sea temperatures.

Expert Insight: Understanding the Science

But is it harmful? ‘By itself, it’s not toxic,’ explains López, ‘but it can become so if it consumes other dinoflagellates or diatoms containing toxic elements.’ Nevertheless, there’s no need for alarm as they eventually fade away and are recycled within the environment.

Drawing the Onlookers: Rare Sight on Mediterranean Shores

This phenomenon, although common in Galician coasts and many other parts of the world is not as common on the Mediterranean coast and so has drawn many onlookers hoping to capture this phenomenon.

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!


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