Sea glows blue ‘like a galaxy’ in extraordinary pictures of rare phenomenon

Sea glows blue 'like a galaxy' in extraordinary pictures of rare phenomenon

Australian photographer Jamen Percy captured the rare event while at Palm Beach and Freshwater in northern Sydney, Australia

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Australia: Bioluminescence lights up the sea along Sydney beaches

The waters of a beach lit up “like a galaxy” over the weekend due to a rare natural phenomenon.

Photographer Jamen Percy captured the ethereal event on Palm Beach and Freshwater in northern Sydney, Australia.

He said he’s still pinching himself after the rarely witnessed occurrence – which is called a bioluminescence bloom.

It happens when algae, fish and squid switch on a light in their body to ward off predators.

When water is disturbed by splashing or paddling, the light is triggered and causes the alien electric blue glow.

Photographer Jamen Percy recalled the “surreal experience” of seeing the sea turn blue


The photographer told 9news that stumbling on the beautiful natural occurrence was a “surreal experience of wonder and fascination”.

He said he asked himself: “Is this actually happening here? Did that wave just glow blue? Wow, my hands are glowing!

“These are the thoughts going through your head. It’s impossible not to feel like a child again playing with nature.”

He said he felt like a child again as he watched the blue waves lap against the shore


Social media users have been asking him whether they can still see the stunning phenomenon if they travel to the beach


He said it’s not the last of the bioluminescence at the beach, and that more is expected.

“Apparently some people saw a little more at Freshwater beach last night so it’s still around,” he wrote on Instagram.

“I’m getting more details.”

Among the 300 people who liked his post, some have asked if the visual treat will be there if they travel to the beach.

Despite its tranquil appearance, bioluminescence is potentially toxic to humans


While the glow – which mainly comes from algae – is beautiful it’s linked to harmful environmental effects and can be dangerously toxic.

When the bioluminescence becomes frequent and spread across large areas. harmful algal blooms are looming.

The blooms produce toxins as an additional predator deterrent to the light.

If it’s consumed by shellfish or larger fish it can travel up the food chain and end up in a person’s body


If shellfish or large fish consume the toxic algae in high enough concentrations, they can pass on the toxicity up the food chain, ending in the human body.

Dangerous levels of the toxin can skin irritation, sickness, and even death.

A similar spectacle of bioluminescence was seen in the waters of Jervis Bay in New South Wales last year.

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