Sunday night turned out to be a memorable one for people at the Injambakkam and Eliot’s beach in Chennai as the waters glowed blue. The sea waves sparkled in a beautiful neon blue colour for a few hours in Chennai and the people who witnessed the stunning sight were swept off their feet. Many of them took to social media to share the pictures and videos of the same. One can see the sparkling blue coloured waves moving towards the shore in the videos. Check out these posts:

As fabulous as this phenomenon sounds and looks, the reason behind the same is not a good sign for a healthy sea. According to some researchers, this phenomenon is actually an indication of the presence of more ammonia than oxygen in the waters, which is a sign of extreme climate change and not suitable for deep-sea fishing.

Ecologists say this occurs due to Noctiluca algae that produce bioluminescence or biologically produced light when disturbed. Noctiluca are considered to have a never-ending appetite for planktonic organisms (diatoms) that leads to a disturbance in the marine food chain. They excrete ammonia in a large amount that harms the fishes. Their existence in the waters is not a healthy sign at all.

Most people who witnessed the sea sparkle without being aware of its hazards called it a once-in-a-lifetime moment. The phenomenon is not really common in India with rare appearances of blue sparkles in the Arabian Sea, Goa and Kerala. However, it is common abroad with beaches in Europe, US and Japan glowing with blue sparkle as their waves hit the shore. Sometimes, the phenomenon also occurs due to Noctiluca’s presence in many marine organisms like jellyfish, worms, crustaceans, sea stars and sharks among others. This happens because Noctiluca converts their chemical energy into light energy when washed ashore.