Bioluminescent waves seen on Central Coast

Posted at 12:33 AM, Sep 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-29 03:33:25-04

The conditions have been right recently to produce waves that glow a bluish-green color at night.

It’s the result of bioluminescence from marine microbes called phytoplankton that emit bluish light when agitated, in this case by the waves.

Local photographers say they were able to see the bioluminescent waves with the naked eye in Morro Bay. Their long-exposure photos, however, really bring out the blue.

Adam Joseph Photography wrote on Facebook, "I’ve always seen bioluminescent phytoplankton on the internet, but never thought I would see it in person. I was like a kid in a candy shop!"

Without much moonlight or light pollution north of Morro Rock, photographer Adam Meinke said he could see a dull blue glow from shore earlier this week. The glow was strongest at low tide very late at night, he said.

Meinke and Luke Tyree, whose photos have become quite popular on Instagram, went back very early Thursday morning. They said they could see the blue glow flashing in the tide from the dirt parking light at the end of Atascadero Road.