First Time in 6 Decades, Bioluminescent Planktons Light Up a Beach in Acapulco

The wonders of nature never seem to cease and although we live on this planet for millennia we are still surprised of its phenomena. Nature is magical and from time to time it decides to show us some of its magic that leaves us breathless.

Have you heard of Noctiluca scintillans?

People refer it as “the sea sparkle” involving free-living, marine-dwelling species of dinoflagellate that, if disturbed, reveals bioluminescence. Such phenomenon was reported by the residents at a Mexican beach which shore lit up with bright blue bioluminescent plankton.  The locals of Acapulco were the fortunate ones to witness this fascinating image on their shore which has happened also in the past, but it has not occurred in over 60 years.

The coronavirus forced us to stay in our homes, but this amazing event was captured by the residents and was shared with the rest of the world reminding us how beautiful nature can be.

This rare phenomenon happening in the waters of Puerto Marques beach is a result of the presence of bioluminescent planktons in the water that caused chemical reactions thus producing bioluminescent blue light show.

Marine biologist Enrique Ayala Duval explains this natural phenomenon like this:

“Bioluminescence is the light produced as a result of a biochemical reaction in which most of the time luciferin [protein], molecular oxygen and ATP [adenosine triphosphate] take part, which react by means of the enzyme luciferase in the following way: oxygen oxidizes luciferin, luciferase accelerates the reaction, and ATP provides the energy for the reaction, producing noticeable water and light at night.” 

Duval continues:

“There is a hypothesis that the bioluminescence that exists today is the result of evolution. Initially, when the Earth’s atmosphere had an almost zero concentration of oxygen and oxygen was gradually increasing due to the increasing presence of photosynthetic organisms, organisms were released from oxygen, which was then toxic to them with the bioluminescence reaction producing water.”

The marine life is magnificent and these bioluminescent planktons showed us this once again, as a result of their gathering, the nutrients in the water and other environmental factors cause the blooming.

The marine bacteria are the typical luminescent organisms under the sea, but bioluminescence in marine life is also used as a way for mating, attracting prey, or detecting predators by other marine species.

This amazing image was spoiled by this video below that was filmed by a local man who swam in the neon blue waters. Although there were strict rules against swimming during lockdown hours he broke them down which was a great disappointment for many people.

Here are some of the reactions:

The phytoplankton natural spectacle in Puerto Marqués #Acapulco is impressive, it is an effect created by microorganisms from the sea. What is bad is that the human being will always be there to ruin everything.”

However, the harsh reactions were not swirling as not many people could have controlled themselves at such magical sight, couldn’t you?