LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Glowing blue waves are creating a spectacular scene on Southern California beaches.
The bioluminescence is known as “red tide,” or an algal bloom, which is a large concentration of microorganisms in the water.
On sunny days, the water gives off a murky reddish hue, and at night, when the organisms are agitated by movements, they emit a neon blue glow.
Red tide can sometimes have harmful impacts on fish, marine mammals and birds, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Experts also say that not all of these algal blooms are harmful and that most times they actually provide food and nutrients for oceanic plants and animals, NOAA said.
Due to Stay-At-Home orders, many people aren’t able to experience the phenomena first-hand, but some are defying guidance from health experts and coming out anyway.
Police have been seen in Malibu and other locations, hoping to deter people from gathering and disperse any crowds.
It’s unclear how long the red tide will be around in SoCal.