Bioluminescent algae on beach lights up as people touch it

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It’s one thing to admire the serenity of bioluminescent algae from afar.

But in Port Lincoln, Australia, people were splashing and playing in fluorescent blue water right on the sand.

Kye Higgins told ABC News he was walking his dog Miss Millie along the beach Sunday when he noticed something strange.

“It looked like there was glow-stick liquid on her legs,” Higgins told the news outlet.

The algae lights up when disturbed, creating quite the effect. It’s why you’ll see waves of rich, glowing blue as the water crashes into the shore. Or in the case below, a hand will do in making the algae glow.

 

So why does this algae, Noctiluca scintillans, light up? According to Ivan Nagelkerken, an ecologist who talked to the ABC, it’s to illuminate predators so they can be seen by larger predators. Devious.

Credit: Mark Thomas via Storyful

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/06/19/splashing-bioluminescent-algae-australia/

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