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Experience the Magic of Nature - Bioluminescence Waves Breaking across SoCal

Updated: Nov 8, 2020

5 Things You Want to Know about This Magical Experience

Picture Credit: Joanne Paquette

Looking for a way to unplug with free entertainment that will blow your mind?

If you've visited by blog, you may know now about my love for nature and all of its beauty. So by saying this experience was one of the most amazing and MUST SEE sightings I've seen in Los Angeles, I hope you're intrigued to take some time to see it your self.

Last week while taking a social distancing walk near Santa Monica beach, a lady approached us asking if we could walk her closer to the beach. It was dark and she was scared to walk alone. She explained she was heading down to see the bioluminescence waves a friend had informed her about. Knowing nothing about this, but in an interest to help, we decided to walk her down; and I am so grateful we did! Not only did it lead to one of the most incredible sightings in my life, she explained how appreciative she was, after feeling so alone while being locked down.

I mention this story because I think it's important that we don't lose our humanity with all the fear in the world today.

We can still help one another and enjoy nature while obeying the rules that are in place today.

Learn how you can take in this incredible exhibit of nature while still maintaining social distance and respecting our beach closures.

Let's take some time to unplug and catch the magic of nature without even having to step foot on the sand.

Here are the Top 5 Things I Learned About Bioluminescent Waves & How You Can Experience Them….

1. What is It?

  • These bioluminescent waves are said to be caused by microscopic phytoplankton, which numbers increase as the water warms.

  • The shakeup of the waves cause these organisms to release this light as a defense system (which is also released when they come into contact with predators).

  • This is called bioluminescence, a biochemical release of light by organisms.

  • Therefore, these microscopic phytoplankton, release an electric blue light as a protection from their "threat" or as waves shake.

2. What Do you See?

  • The biochemical released by these organisms, releases this electric blue light, and with the influx of this plankton in the water right now, an illuminance blue wave is created in the dark of the night.

  • Bright blue waves have been seen across the Southern California coast from San Diego and up to Malibu.

3. When Should I Go?

  • Because these organisms increase in warmer waters, these illuminance shows tends to be seen as the water warms with the summer months. Therefore, the warmer temperatures in SoCal, have brought these organisms out.

  • When the first sightings are spotted, they say they can be seen for months after but others only a week. Since they’ve been being spotted as early as the end of April, I recommend heading out as soon as you can!

  • It is also recommended to go about 2 hours after sunset. So with the sunset currently around 7:30pm PST, I would say to head out around 9/9:30pm.

  • Also, it is best to go when the moon is not out or as bright.

4. Where Can I See This?

  • Around, southern California, if you head out, you’ll want to choose a beach that is darker. We went to Santa Monica beach which was a bit harder to see due to the lights from Santa Monica pier but later went closer to Manhattan where it was darker

  • I recommend choosing a darker beach so you can see the color more vividly.

Newport & Huntington Beaches have been said to have some of the greatest sightings.

5. What to Expect?

  • As expected, this show brings out other spectators, so practice your social distancing and stay off the beaches.

  • You can still catch a great show away from the beach, especially if it is dark!

  • Therefore if you follow these tips, I feel this experience is a great way to respect our stay at home orders, while still enjoying the beauty of nature.

  • Also, if you don't respect these orders, some beaches are ticketing anyone who steps on the beach. Tickets have been issued for upto $1000 in fines.

Check out these waves we caught, while still at a distance from the beach. Amazing!

Head out, be safe, have fun and enjoy all of California's beauty!!

Please ask questions, share your comments, post videos, photos from your experience chasing this phenomenon.

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