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Is that Tomato Soup on the Water?

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

With the hot weather upon us, we are encountering these blooms around #vancouverisland and I wanted to take this opportunity to share some facts about one of my favourite species of plankton!


๐Ÿ” Commonly known as Sea Sparkle or Sea Fireflies. These fascinating organisms light up the ocean with their enchanting glow! Let's explore their incredible features and the role they play in our marine ecosystem. ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ’™

๐Ÿซง Boyant Bodies: Under the microscope (last 2 photos), notice their spherical bodies surrounded by a delicate membrane. This unique buoyancy mechanism enables them to stay afloat and move with the ocean currents. ๐ŸŒŠ โ›ฑ๏ธ

โœจ Glowing Beauty: Noctiluca scintillans is a type of bioluminescent dinoflagellate. They possess a unique ability to emit a captivating blue-green light when disturbed, creating a breathtaking spectacle that seems like magic! โœจ๐ŸŒŒ

๐ŸŒŠ Role in the Ecosystem: These tiny organisms play a crucial role in marine ecosystems. Noctiluca scintillans is a mixotroph, meaning it can photosynthesize like plants and also feed on other microscopic organisms. By consuming phytoplankton, they help control their population, maintaining a balanced ecosystem and influencing carbon cycling. ๐ŸŒฑ๐Ÿ 

๐ŸŒก๏ธ Environmental Indicators: The presence of Noctiluca can serve as an indicator of changes in ocean conditions. Factors such as nutrient levels, temperature, and pollution can influence their population. Monitoring these organisms can provide valuable insights into the health of our oceans and the impact of human activities. ๐Ÿ“Š๐ŸŒ

If you're lucky enough to see one of these blooms, make sure you check it out at night time! Give the water and stir and enjoy the magical sparkle โœจ๏ธ

๐Ÿ“ท Sony DSC-H300

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