If the Noctiluca scintillans bloom becomes too big, when the microalgae can produce a lot of ammonia when they die, which can be deadly for fish.

    Photo Credit: Heather Christian

    Known as a ‘red tide’, during the day, the microalgae Noctiluca scintillanshas displays a red colour. If the right nutrient-laden water conditions occur, blooms of this microalgae can grow.

    Photo Credit: Heather Christian

    A rock thrown into the Derwent River in Tasmania, emits a blue light from a disturbed microalgae.

    Photo Credit: Heather Christian

    Microalgae called Noctiluca scintillans, common name sea sparkle, give off light when disturbed, for example, when a rock is tossed into the water. 

    Photo Credit: Heather Christian

    “As we drove along the South Arm Neck [in Hobart, Tasmania], looking out the window, the entire stretch of beach was lit up  neon blue,” says Leena. 

    Photo Credit: Leena Wisby/Lena's lens Photography

    “I have headed out other nights simply to view [the bioluminescence] and show my boys. “Many were out enjoying the bright neon glow as it shimmered under their feet, kids and adults alike splashing in the waters to agitate the glow,” says Leena.

    Photo Credit: Leena Wisby/Lena's lens Photography

    “The news of the plankton being in our bays soon spread with a story ran by the local paper The Mercury,” says Leena.” The next evening I went down the beach was filled with families out enjoying the awe inspiring sight but it wasn’t as bright as the evening I had been there.”

    Photo Credit: Leena Wisby/Lena's lens Photography

    The Milky Way and the bioluminescence make for a stunning image.

    Photo Credit: Julie Head

    Lauderdale Beach, Tasmania. On the 23th of May, 2015. You can see why the microalgae is called ‘sea sparkles’.

    Photo Credit: Julie Head

    Tasmania’s Derwent River glows blue with bioluminescence light, on Monday 18 May, 2015. “It was absolutely mesmerising. As soon as you engaged with the scene before you, you turned back into a childlike state. It happens to everyone!” says photographer Jo Malcomson.

    Photo Credit: Jo Malcomson/Blackpaw Photography

    “Down on the neck  [of the South Arm Peninsula), it was a glowing shoreline,” says Jo. “There was a slight breeze creating soft waves lapping in, which kept the glow at a fairly steady brightness. Before you know it you’re throwing in handfuls of sand and shell grit, skipping stones and making big splashes with rocks. You’re in up to your knees and your gumboots are filling with water, but you can’t feel the cold, because the scene before your eyes is just so incredibly alien – like an enchanted fairy-land.”

     

     

    Photo Credit: Jo Malcomson/Blackpaw Photography

    Splashes were created using rocks and shell grit.

    Photo Credit: Jo Malcomson/Blackpaw Photography

    “It seems impossible that something so incredibly beautiful could have such a sinister side,” says Jo.

    Photo Credit: Jo Malcomson/Blackpaw Photography
    Photo Credit: Jo Malcomson/Blackpaw Photography

    “When you pass a fish, they leave bioluminescent trails under the water as they dart away. The ducks also leave a glowing wake as they quack along! It really has been like taking a holiday on another planet,” says Jo.

    Photo Credit: Jo Malcomson/Blackpaw Photography

    On Saturday, 16 May, there were traces of bioluminescent plankton, and Leena and friends were also chasing the aurora. “Once on shore as we walked the beach lit up sparkling neon blue under our feet; the waves were lapping in and as it hit the shoreline it lit up even more,” she says.

    Photo Credit: Leena Wisby/Lena's lens Photography

    “It was an childlike experience as we agitated the water with our feet walking through it and seeing our shoes be entirely neon,” says Leena. 

    Photo Credit: Leena Wisby/Lens's lens Photography

    Lauderdale canal walkover, Tasmania, on Monday 25 May, 2015.

    Photo Credit: Nick Dobson

    On the neck of the South Arm Peninsula, Tasmania. 18 May, 2015.

    Photo Credit: Leoni Williams

    On the neck of the South Arm Peninsula, Tasmania. 18 May, 2015.

    Photo Credit: Leoni Williams

    On the neck of the South Arm Peninsula, Tasmania. 18 May, 2015.

    Photo Credit: Leoni Williams
    Photo Credit: Julie Head
    Photo Credit: Matthew Holz
    Photo Credit: Sophie Fazackerley
    Photo Credit: Sophie Fazackerley

    Lauderdale Beach, Tasmania. 23 May, 2015.

    Photo Credit: Julie Head

    Lauderdale Beach, Tasmania. 23 May, 2015.

    Photo Credit: Julie Head

    Lauderdale Beach, Tasmania. 23 May, 2015.

    Photo Credit: Julie Head

    Lauderdale, Tasmania. 23 May, 2015.

    Photo Credit: www.facebook.com/MatthewHolzphotography

    Lauderdale, Tasmania. 23 May, 2015.

    Photo Credit: www.facebook.com/MatthewHolzphotography

    Lauderdale, Tasmania. 23 May, 2015.

    Photo Credit: www.facebook.com/MatthewHolzphotography

    South Arm, Tasmania. 17 May, 2015.

    Photo Credit: www.facebook.com/MatthewHolzphotography

    South Arm, Tasmania. 17 May, 2015.

    Photo Credit: www.facebook.com/MatthewHolzphotography

    South Arm, Tasmania. 17 May, 2015.

    Photo Credit: www.facebook.com/MatthewHolzphotography

    South Arm, Tasmania. 17 May, 2015.

    Photo Credit: www.facebook.com/MatthewHolzphotography

    South Arm, Tasmania. 17 May, 2015.

    Photo Credit: www.facebook.com/MatthewHolzphotography

    Lauderdale, Tasmania. 24 May, 2015. Throwing buckets full of water created glowing arcs on the surface.

    Photo Credit: Paul Fleming/www.instagram.com/lovethywalrus

    South Arm, 19 May, 2015. With a 10 second exposure, the water was stirred up with a bucket.

    Photo Credit: Paul Fleming/www.instagram.com/lovethywalrus

    Lauderdale Canal, Lauderdale,Tasmania. “For the past 11 days or so we have been experiencing the bioluminescene on our shores especially facing south,” says Rovşen.

    Photo Credit: Rovşen Giffard

    Ralph’s Bay, Lauderdale, Tasmania. “I personally call it as Nature’s own light painting at night time, as I specialise in light painting photography as well as aurora australis Photography,” says Rovşen.

    Photo Credit: Rovşen Giffard

    Lauderdale Beach, Tasmania. 

    Photo Credit: Rovşen Giffard

    Lauderdale Beach, Tasmania. 

    Photo Credit: Rovşen Giffard

    South Arm, Lauderdale Beach, Tasmania. 

    Photo Credit: Rovşen Giffard

    South Arm, Lauderdale Beach, Tasmania. 

    Photo Credit: Rovşen Giffard

    South Arm, Lauderdale Beach, Tasmania. 

    Photo Credit: Rovşen Giffard

    Bioluminescence in Ralphs Bay, Lauderdale in Hobart, Tasmania.

    Photo Credit: Warren Donnelly

    The Miky Way, the aurora australis and the bioluminescence in one image. Park Beach, Carlton Tasmania. 18 May, 2015.

    Photo Credit: Wayne Painter

    The aurora australis and bioluminescence at Park Beach, Carlton Tasmania. 18 May, 2015.

    Photo Credit: Wayne Painter

    The aurora australis and bioluminescence at Park Beach, Carlton Tasmania. 18 May, 2015.

    Photo Credit: Wayne Painter
    Photo Credit: Paul Fleming
    Photo Credit: Paul Fleming

Bioluminescence: ‘sea sparkles’ light Tassie waters

By AG STAFF | May 25, 2015

Known as a ‘red tide’ by day, the microalgae Noctiluca scintillans, known as ‘sea sparkle’ emits a bioluminescent blue glow when disturbed at night. Over the last week, residents of Hobart, Tasmania, have been treated to a light show on the Derwent River, mostly around the South Arm Peninsula, as the dinoflagellate bloom has washed ashore. The bloom can be deadly to fish if it accumulates and gives off ammonia as the microalgae die.