Since Thursday, the people of Mumbai were the happy observers of neon blue waves crashing against the Juhu beach. This rare phenomenon is being caused by microorganisms called phytoplanktons, which emit light as a result of bioluminescence. The phenomenon is common in the Lakshwadeep Islands, but its occurance in Mumbai left locals bedazzled.
Sayeli Bhalekar, a resident of the Juhu Koliwada area appears to have been the first witness of this rare sight. She notified her two friends, Abir Jain and Nilesh Mane, who are zoologists at Bhawan College of this immediately; they did not believe her until she sent them a video of the same.
They reached the beach at around 8 pm, and were mersmerised by what they saw. “Wherever we placed our feet, the surrounding area started glowing, It was like seeing an animation film”, Mane stated, overjoyed.
Mane explained how it was difficult to take good photographs of this beautiful sight, as the surrounding road lights were bright. They could take proper pictures only when they moved to the Danda side. Mane had to wade chest deep into the water and make several changes to his DSLR to get satisfactory pictures.
Bioluminescence is a biological process by which living oraganisms emit light of their own. The phytoplanktons possess a protein which go through a series of chain reactions when triggered by the tidal waves. These reactions in turn cause the emition of the bluish glow.
The two students collected water samples and photographs of the neon waters. They plan to research and publish papers surrounding this event.
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