Glowing blue algae dazzles beachgoers

LAUNCESTON, Australia (KTRK) -- A beach in Australia was transformed into a sea of sparkling blue after bioluminescent algae began to wash ashore.

The algae, known scientifically as Noctiluca scintillans, glows a brilliant blue color when disturbed by waves and water currents.

Scientists believe the glowing mechanism could also be used to scare off predators and other organisms who compete for plankton, the organism's main food source.

Locals have dubbed the spellbinding phenomenon 'sea sparkle.'

The dazzling sight could be a sign of trouble, however. While the algae are not harmful to people, they thrive in aquatic environments with low oxygen levels, which can be detrimental for other organisms in the ecosystem.

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