Strangeness in Florida Panhandle: Ocean glowing blue and “red tide” that’s not blooming — “Never seen anything like it” (VIDEO & PHOTOS)

BIOLUMINESCENCE: Glowing plankton thrill water watchers in Destin (PHOTOS), Destin Log, February 22, 2011:

Destin Log

Depending on exactly what is causing the bioluminescence, [Allison Beauregard, an oceanographer and faculty member at Northwest Florida State College] said locals might be treated to a light show for a few days. …

As for the direct cause of the bioluminescence, Beauregard said she couldn’t be sure and it may be part of a seasonal cycle. …

When The Log asked if there might be a connection between the recent occurrence of bioluminescence and the increased amount of algae present on local beaches, Beauregard said it was a possibility.

“Whatever is causing the algae to bloom may be causing the increase in phytoplankton, which will become bioluminescent when it’s disturbed,” she said.

As for whether or not there could be any relation to the oil spill, Bearegard said she “doubts it.”

John Holahan:

“I was at the Crab Trap last night and it was really cool! Looked like a bunch of glow sticks and/or fluorescent lights under the water when the waves crashed. It went on for hours and I have never seen anything like it.”

Doug Jordan:

“This is the first time I have ever seen something like that.” …

“Living at the beach you think you have seen everything, but sometimes you get a surprise.”

Read the report here.

Tests confirm: “Oil” seen off Miramar Beach is really algae, WJHG, February 21, 2011:

Walton Sun

Beachgoers, both local and tourists, gathered around what looked to be oil-related material in Miramar beach Sunday. …

Rodney Combs has lived in Miramar Beach for 13 years. … “I’ve never seen anything come up here like this. This is like red tide, but it’s not blooming,” said Combs. …

The material looks similar to marine algae commonly called “red tide”.

Walton County Sheriff’s officials… say NOAA scientists have tested the rust colored substance and have confirmed it is algae. …

[A]uthorities encourage people to use caution on the beach.

Read the report here.

19 comments to Strangeness in Florida Panhandle: Ocean glowing blue and “red tide” that’s not blooming — “Never seen anything like it” (VIDEO & PHOTOS)

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