They say all that glitters is not gold.
Nowhere is this saying more fitting than in these images of majestic sparkling blue lights on the shore of a Chinese village which are in fact an ominous sign of pollution.
The spectacular phenomenon-which has appeared on the shores of Dalian City in east China’s Liaoning Province – is known as Sea Sparkle and it comes about from farming triggered contamination.
The eerie glow is a harmful algal bloom called Noctiluca scintillans. Triggered by farm pollution, these organism can wreak havoc on local marine life and fisheries.
Noctiluca is a type of single-cell animal that eats plankton and is eaten by other species. The organisms multiply when nitrogen and phosphorous from farm run-off increase.
The spectacle has also earned it the name of ‘sea ghost’, as its colours are especially vivid at night, luring local photographers to capture the fluorescent blue patches of water.
The phenomenon has drawn thousands of fascinated sightseers to the coast of Dalian to marvel at its mystical effect. It’s the second time that Sea Sparkle has appeared on the coastline of the busy port city.
Tourist Lian Lo, 21, said: ‘It looks incredibly beautiful and serene. It makes you want to go out into the water and touch it, but I had no idea it was a sign of pollution.’
‘That is very worrying. If it affects local fish, the authorities need to do something about this quickly.’
Images from January this year show the eerie algam bloom lighting up the coast of Hong Kong, with the water seen glowing an otherworldy shade of blue.
Last month images surfaced from Qingdao – also in eastern China – showing the phenomenon appearing on the shore of the small coastal city.
Behind it’s breathtaking appearance, Noctiluca scintillans is a growing problem which poses a grave threat to a range of marine life.
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