The Nerd Side Of Life

Warmer Waters May Bring Even More Beautiful Bioluminescent Seascapes

New Zealand is once again the hot spot for photographers as this years warmer waters is promising something spectacular. Bioluminescence along Auckland’s coast has always been one of the most beautiful seascapes to capture. This year promises an even stronger occurrence of bioluminescence along the coast.

Simon Thrush, a professor of marine sciences at Auckland University told the New Zealand Herald that numerous plants and animals could be responsible for the phenomenon. They say that the reason for the spectacle is possibly because these animals and organisms are communicating with each other or that it could be a response to predators.

Alistair Bane Photography
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“I don’t think there is anything unusual about what’s going on. Often these things vary from year to year, just depending on climatic conditions.

This year the waters are a little bit warmer so we might be seeing a stronger response because of that”

If we’ve got a big storm going then we just aren’t going to notice much [bioluminescence] because the effect of the storm both affects the water column and breaks up the surface.”

Simon Thrush via NZH

Alistair Bane, a teacher from the area captured some images of the bioluminescent ocean and asked a colleague of his about why it happens. Marine scientist and teacher Daniel Ward explained:

“The glow is caused by an oxidation reaction within the organism’s body to produce light in order to distract and evade predators. It can be difficult to predict when these blooms of marine plankton will show up, even in their preferred warmer water temperatures. For the best experience of bioluminescence, the water needs to be disturbed with wave action or simply by a swimmer splashing around – which triggers their defense mechanism”

Daniel Ward via

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