✓Over the last few days, visitors to beaches in Maharashtra have witnessed the fluorescent bluish glow when the waves hit the shoreline.
✓The phenomenon is called ‘blue tide’.
✓It appears when luminescent marine life makes the sea appear a deep shade of blue.
✓It occurs when phytoplankton (microscopic marine plants), commonly known as dinoflagellates, produce light through chemical reactions in proteins.
✓Waves disturb these unicellular microorganisms and make them release blue light.
✓Bioluminescence is the property of a living organism to produce and emit light.
✓Animals, plants, fungi and bacteria show bioluminescence.
✓A remarkable diversity of marine animals and microbes are able to produce their own light.
✓It is found in many marine organisms such as bacteria, algae, jellyfish, worms, crustaceans, sea stars, fish and sharks.
✓Luminescence is generally higher in deep-living and planktonic organisms than in shallow species.
✓It is an anti-predatory response.
✓Bioluminescence is assumed to startle predators, causing them to hesitate