Sea Sparkle

On January 22 this remarkable image was created near Sam Mun Tsai and Lung Mei in Tai Po.

Sea Sparkle

The long exposure captured the bioluminescence (also known as Sea Sparkle) of a green algal bloom called Noctiluca scintillans, a dinoflagellate that glows when disturbed.

However, the downside is this mysterious and spectral and pretty display is triggered by farm run-off of nitrogen and phosphorous that can wreak havoc on local marine life and fisheries. Noctiluca is a single-celled organism that can function as both plant and animal. It eats plankton but is also consumed by other species.

While not toxic in itself, its duality can "magnify the accumulation of toxins" in the marine food chain. In the daytime the algal bloom appears pink or red, creating a 'red-tide' that in significant quantities can strip oxygen from the water and kill fish.

Hauntingly beautiful, yet a sign that all is not well at the shoreline.

Photo by Kin Cheung/AP

Older 早前 · Archive 案卷

More 更多

About 關於

Big White Guy is the personal web site of Randall van der Woning, who hails from Canada but has lived in Hong Kong with his wife Mabel for the past 16 years. Randall is a photographer, photography teacher, and writer.

Seriously ... Big White Guy? The nickname was given in Canada but was shortened to BWG, because this wouldn't be the Internet if we didn't initialise everything.

Warm & Fuzzy 稱讚

"I read your site avidly so that I can get measured insight into the less glamorous parts of Hong Kong and its amazing culture. "