‘Glowing’ Dolphins Swim In California’s Bioluminescent Waters

by Sanjana Shenoy
‘Glowing’ Dolphins Swim In California’s Bioluminescent Waters

It’s ordinary when a magician pulls out a rabbit from a hat. But it’s extraordinary when you spot the magic that Mother Earth has to offer. ‘Glowing’ dolphins were seen swimming in Calfornia’s bioluminescent waters. Amazing footage showed a pod of dolphins play through bioluminescent algae off the coast of California. Patrik Coyne, the photographer who shot the video off the coast of Newport Beach, California, described this to be one of the most ‘magical’ nights of his life. The light show took place after dolphins disturbed the tiny organisms, which glow in the form of a fear response.

glowing dolphins california
Picture Credits: indy100.com

What’s In It?

It all started with Netflix. Yes! You read that right. Patrik Coyne had watched a programmed on Netflix which showed dolphins swimming through bioluminescent waters. The talented photographer was inspired to witness and capture this natural spectacle. So, he decided to go on an excursion with Newport Coastal Adventure, a local tour agency. According to Coyne, the footage was a challenge to film, as it required the perfect conditions, as bioluminescence is short-lived in nature and also difficult to spot.

glowing dolphins california
Picture Credits:

Getting this incredible footage was really tricky. The glowing effect also is known as ‘the fire of the sea’ is caused by microscopic, single-celled organisms called, dinoflagellates, specifically those of the species Noctiluca scintillans. These tiny creatures release two chemicals,  luciferin and luciferase, and enzyme. When these are combined, the enzyme catalysts a reaction on the luciferin. This results in a signature blue flash which lasts up to 100 milliseconds. When these single-celled algae are disturbed, they eject these two chemicals from their body, creating light. Inspite of the challenges, Patrick Coyne was able to capture this surreal moment and give us a glimpse of glow-in-the-dark dolphins playing in bioluminescent waters. It’s nothing short of magic.

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•Dolphins Swimming in Bioluminescence• Last night was truly one of the most magical nights of my life. Capt. Ryan @lawofthelandnsea of @newportcoastaladventure invited me along to capture rare video of Dolphins swimming in bioluminescence. The first time I saw this actually filmed was a few months back while watching a Night on Earth documentary on Netflix. The second I saw that footage it became a dream of mine to one day capture something similar and that’s exactly what we did. This was by far the most challenging video I’ve shot for a number of reason. For starters the bioluminescence has sweet spots to where it shows up and then fades away so while on the water it’s impossible to just find it. Not only that but actually finding any type of animal in pitch black is just so ridiculously hard. Conditions have to be absolutely perfect for the bioluminescence to show up and to have an animal swim through it so we can film it. On top of all that just trying to nail the focus at such a wide aperture with something moving in the water was a nightmare. We were out for a few hours and on our final stretch back we finally had 2 Dolphins pop up to start the incredible glowing show. A few minutes later and we were greeted by a few more which was insane. I’m honestly still processing this all and I can’t thank @newportcoastaladventure enough for having me out because without them none of this would be possible. Be sure to check our their edit from last night as well! I hope you all enjoy this video. ——————————————————————————— Shot on a Sony a7Sii with a Rokinon 35mm Cine DS T1.5 Len. Shutter speed: 1/50 Aperture T2 ISO 80,000

A post shared by Patrick Coyne (@patrickc_la) on

Also Read: Endangered Ganges River Dolphins Have Been Spotted In Meerut Waters!

What’s More?

Newport Coastal Adventure released the incredible video on social media. The company explained “The bioluminescence off Newport Beach has been out of this world. Last night Capt. Ryan took the Zodiac out to look for dolphins, and together with friend Patrick Coyne filmed this amazing interaction with a pod of dolphins as they lit up the night.”  The success of Newport Coastal Adventure and Patrick Coyne’s excursion is all seen in this one incredible footage. It really leaves us awestruck how much beauty the world has to offer. Until we can travel again, post lockdown, these ‘glowing’ dolphins is the little dose of magic that we really need right now. Schools Of Dolphins Return Near Marine Drive Thanks To Drop In Water Traffic