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A long exposure photograph taken on January 22 depicts the gleam from a Noctiluca scintillans algal blossom along the coast in Hong Kong. The dazzling photograph details shining blue seashore with the brilliant lights of Hong Kong in the background. The fluorescent blue sparkle is a natural lighting created by an algae bloom ordinarily known as „Sea Sparkle.” The phytoplankton is not viewed as toxic or unsafe and is generally a normal thing in Hong Kong. What is exceptional is catching its luminous gleam on cam, which just shows up when the water is moving.
Local photographic artist Lit Wai Kwong took another picture of the phenomena at Tai Po in Hong Kong’s New Territories. The photographer used a 30-second exposure to get the pictures. According to him the blue light is only visible if there is a wave, a watercraft moving, or a stone tossed in the water.
In spite of its blue tint, the phenomena is alluded to as a red tide and, as per a Hong Kong government internet page that monitors sightings, a few have already been reported in this last month.
Michelle Cheung representing the city’s Eco-education & Resources Center mentioned the colorful light was due to high pollution in Tolo Harbor, which was increased by the slow stream of currents. She explained that nutrient rates are regularly high in the area, because of restaurant disposals and sewage running straight from town houses into the ocean. Cheung also mentioned that the algae is potentially dangerous as it sucks the water’ oxygen, even if the legislature has not registered any dead fish.
David Baker from the Swire Institute of Marine Science at the University of Hong Kong also remarked:
“Hong Kong and the entire Pearl River Delta has a big problem with wastewater, and that is surely a factor with these plankton blooms. I guess the analogy is they’re like locusts that feed on agricultural crops. And once they find a good abundant food source they will multiply until the food source is exhausted. In Hong Kong unfortunately most of the nutrients are coming from our own sewage.”
According to the scientist, Noctiluca scintillans is not a risk to human or natural surroundings, but the gigantic blossom does indicate a biological system that is imbalanced. Apparently, the environmental risks are not preeminent only when oxygen is used during the algae’s short life. In fact, even when the bloom dies and slip to the base of the ocean, they deplete enormous amounts of oxygen while decomposing. Hong Kong has various areas that experience constant low levels of oxygen, which spike in their severity whenever algal blooms appear.
Image Source: CNN