Tasmania’s coastline glows in the dark as plankton turn blue

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Strange scenes on north-west coast show bright blue waters from ‘sea sparkle’

The waters along Tasmania’s north-west coastline have a wonderful, glowing appearance.. Photographs taken near Preservation Bay and Rocky Cape showcase bright blue waters caused by a natural effect known as noctiluca scintillans (AKA sea sparkle), which happens when tiny plankton turn blue in self-defence.

The wonderful scene, which is best seen in calm, warm seas, is worrying. “The displays are a sign of climate change,” Anthony Richardson, from the CSIRO, told New Scientist after an event in Tasmania in 2015.

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