Bioluminescent algae shocks San Diegans

Jared Schenk, Copy Editor

Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively alter people’s lives, a recent bioluminescent algae bloom at San Diego beaches is bringing light. 

Bioluminescence is created by a species of protist called dinoflagellate, according to Cathedral Catholic High School earth science teacher Mrs. Jeanette Lopatka. 

The bioluminescence has drawn many San Diego citizens out of their houses at night to go observe the glowing waves while still following social distancing protocol.

The bioluminescence emits a blue light through the ocean waves due to a chemical reaction that produces light energy within an organism’s body, Mrs. Lopatka said. 

“Essentially it is thought that the species causing this particular bioluminescence is due to upwelling of ocean water from lower depths,” Mrs. Lopatka said. “Usually upwelling is associated with movement of water of different temperatures which also brings different nutrients.”