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‘Blue tide’ spotted along Juhu, Devgad, Ratnagiri beaches

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    26th Nov, 2020

What is the blue tide?

  • This phenomenon occurs when luminescent marine life makes the sea appear a deep shade of blue.
  • It occurs when phytoplankton, commonly known as dinoflagellates, produce light through chemical reactions in proteins.
  • Waves disturb these unicellular microorganisms and make them release blue light.
  • The spectacle has been witnessed from November to January and, in some instances, even in March.

Where it has been observed?

  • The sight has been observed at Mumbai and Dakshina Kannada-Udupi coast.
  • It has also been seen across Maldives, Vietnam, Indonesia, the USA, and Australia.

What could be the reasons behind this phenomenon?

  • Eutrophication: Eutrophication – the reduction of oxygen in the water, which makes the phytoplanktons pretty dominant. 
  • Light pollution: One reason is light pollution on beaches.
    • The light is produced when the organisms are churned or mechanically stimulated.
    • The light spreads further when waves surf up along the rocks.


  • Dinoflagellates are unicellular.
  • They possess two dissimilar flagella arising from the ventral cell side.
  • These are microorganisms that are related to amoeba and paramecium.
  • They have enzymes in their body with which break down certain organic substrates and this gets emitted into the light.

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