The blue tide spotted at Mumbai beaches
#GS3 #SCIENCE #ENVIRONMENT
Bioluminescence or light-emitting tide made an appearance on Juhu beach in Mumbai and Devgad, Velas and Murud along thestate's coastline.
- The phenomenon is called ‘blue tide’, and appears when luminescent marine life make the sea appear a deep shade of blue.
- The spectacle occurs when phytoplankton (microscopic marine plants), commonly known as dinoflagellates, produce light through chemical reactions in proteins.
- Waves disturb these unicellular microorganisms and make them release blue light.
- Bioluminescence is the property of a living organism to produce and emit light.
- Animals, plants, fungi and bacteria show bioluminescence. A remarkable diversity of marine animals and microbes are able to produce their own light.
- It is found in many marine organisms such as bacteria, algae, jellyfish, worms, crustaceans, sea stars, fish and sharks.
- Luminescence is generally higher in deep-living and planktonic organisms than in shallow species.
- It is an anti-predatory response. Bioluminescence is assumed to startle predators, causing them to hesitate, in a form of predator intimidation.
- Another explanation is that bioluminescence helps these organisms gather together and make colonies.
- Bioluminescence has been an annual occurrence along the west coast since 2016 during the months of November and December.
- While bioluminescence is not common in India, there are several tourist places across the world which are famous for the phenomenon.
- The Blue Grotto in Malta is one of nine caves near the island of Filfa that produces a phosphorescent glow.
- The bioluminescence could have been caused by heavy rain, fertilizers run off, discharge of sewage into the ocean.