A Bioluminescent Bloom in Hong Kong

A bloom of Noctiluca scintillans, a large, green marine dinoflagellate that exhibits bioluminescence when disturbed, was captured in photos made earlier today in Hong Kong, with a long exposure showing an eerie glow along the seashore. The luminescence, also called Sea Sparkle, is triggered by farm pollution that can be devastating to marine life and local fisheries, according to University of Georgia oceanographer Samantha Joye. Noctiluca itself does not produce neurotoxins like other similar organisms do. But its role as both prey and predator can eventually magnify the accumulation of toxins in the food chain, according to R. Eugene Turner at Louisiana State University.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • DenisTangneyJr / iStockphoto / Getty

    Massachusetts: Images of the Bay State

    A few glimpses of the landscape of Massachusetts, and some of the animals and people calling it home

  • Joseph Eid / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Watery Labyrinth, Giza Necropolis, Wuhan Opera

    Movie-making in Italy, a drive-in viewing of the World Series in Los Angeles, a church set ablaze in Chile, wildfires in Colorado, balloon crop-spraying in China, rescued huskies in Russia, and much more

  • Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters

    Photos: Prodemocracy Protests in Thailand

    A recent string of demonstrations against Thailand’s military-backed government continues despite crackdowns by officials.

  • Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

    Fall Is in the Air: Images of the Season

    Bundle up, maybe grab a mug of hot cider, and enjoy this batch of recent fall photos.