Jeffreys Bay has experienced all the glory of a red tide this year, as the ocean came alive at light with lumo waves breaking in the bay.
We have also experienced the smell of the red tide and experienced fish washing up on our beaches.
Clive Wright explores what causes the red tide:
The bioluminescence is the result of a chemical reaction in relatively large cells (they can be up to about 1mm in size) in special organelles called scintillons.
The reaction involves the action of an enzyme called luciferase on a chemical called luciferin which produces the spectacular light show in the water.
Red by day, but blue by night as the sea turns into fairyland with billions of micro-organisms flashing their blue lights like an oceanic “blue light brigade”.
Whenever the organism is disturbed it lets off a tiny burst of light. So when a wave passes them they unite in a flash along the lip of the wave.
The resulting light show is spectacular. If you walk along the wet sand, the sand around your feet lights up in a celebration of your passing.
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All photo’s taken by Clive Wright.