Bioluminescent Sand Spotted at This San Diego Beach -

Bioluminescent Sand Spotted at This San Diego Beach

An intrepid photographer has spotted a unique phenomenon at a San Diego area beach: bioluminescent sand.

For those unfamiliar with bioluminescence in San Diego, the unique experience happens when blooms of tiny marine algae collect in large enough numbers. Known as a red tide, the results of this bloom are waves that appear to magically glow blue when they break.

Bioluminescent in San Diego used to happen every couple of years, but have increased in frequency in recent years. And this week, one San Diego photographer discovered an even more magical phenomenon.

Over the weekend, local photographer Vishwas Lokesh spotted an interesting occurrence at Mission Bay: sand that appeared to glow bright blue when disturbed.

“Last night was mind-blowing; I couldn’t stop laughing from the excitement and joy,” Lokesh wrote in an Instagram post. “I’ve been waiting to capture bioluminescence like this in San Diego since 2020, and it finally came through!!”

Video courtesy of @shotbyvish

Reportedly, he spotted the glowing blue sand at Sail Bay Beach around 3 a.m. on Sunday. He reportedly had checked a couple of beaches, but didn’t know about the bioluminescent sand until a Good Samaritan alerted him to it.

Bioluminescent occur when the aforementioned marine algae are disturbed by movement, such as the force of a wave breaking. In this case, the algae appeared to be embedded in the wet beach sand at Sail Bay Beach, and resulted in a blue glow any time Lokesh interacted with it.

Since these events are becoming more common, you have more of a chance to see it. However, actually predicting the bioluminescent sand or waves can be tricky. Lokesh has a couple of tips, however.

“The factors are good rain with high tides, which pulls the nitrogen in, followed by sunny weather and cool water at depth,” he wrote in a comment. “Additionally, swell and wind matter, but I don’t know how they play together.”

Media credit: Image licensed from Adobe