These blue lights, often called ‘blue tears’ can be seen after dark on many of China’s shores, and have recently become a major tourist attraction
At first glance, you’d be forgiven for mistaking these photos of sparkling blue seas as having been photoshopped.
But the stunning images are very much real, and are the result of bioluminescent plankton in the water.
These blue lights, often called ‘blue tears’ can be seen after dark on many of China’s shores, and have recently become a major tourist attraction.
But while the blue tears might look appealing, they’re actually toxic to marine life as well as humans.
Now, researchers from the University of South Florida have developed a satellite-based method to track Noctiluca scintillans blooms, which could help to reduce harm to marine life.
Speaking to Live Science, Chanmin Hu, who worked on the study, said: “People think this is romantic and beautiful to watch at night. It’s toxic.”
Their analysis revealed that the sparkling creatures can survive farther from shore and in warmer waters than previously thought.
“If researchers have a better idea of when and where red Noctiluca scintillans blooms occur, local officials could potentially use the information to inform tourists when they have the best chance of seeing the glittering blue tears.”