Juhu beach to turn ‘fluorescent blue’ again tonight

Juhu beach to turn 'fluorescent blue' again tonight
Juhu Beach. Picture Courtesy: Saurabh Sawant Photography

For the second time this year, waves at Mumbai’s Juhu beach turned ‘blue’, much to the delight of onlookers.

The rare natural phenomena, where the waves turn fluorescent blue, is known as ‘bioluminescence’. It is caused by dinoflagellate, a plankton found in coastal areas, which produces light through chemical reactions in proteins.

It was first observed earlier this year in January by students of Bhavan’s College, Andheri. The students were quick to spot the phenomenon when it occurred again earlier this week.

Dr. Parvish Pandya, assistant professor of Zoology and vice-principal, Bhavan’s College in Andheri, visited the spot after a student informed him about it on on Wednesday night.

He then captured the phenomenon on his cell phone and posted the pictures on his social media account, urging Mumbaikars to not miss the opportunity to catch this rare occurrence first hand.

“Microorganisms called dinoflagellates are related to amoeba and paramecium. They have enzymes in their body with which break down certain organic substrates and this gets emitted into light,” said Dr Pandya told HT.

“The light is produced when the organisms are churned or mechanically stimulated, for example the light spreads further when waves surf up along the rocks,” he added.

While bioluminescence has been spotted at many beaches across the world, what makes the sight rarer is its complete lack of predictability.

According to Dr Pandya, the bioluminescence will be visible on Friday night and those interested in catching a glimpse should reach Juhu Beach around 9:30 pm and take a jetty, as the lights get submerged once the high tide sets in.

The directions to reach the jetty can be found here.

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