Magical footage captures a pod of dolphins glowing in the dark as they swim

Louis Staples
Tuesday 28 April 2020 17:30
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(Screengrab: Patrick Coyne / Instagram)

Right now the world feels like a pretty dark place.

If you need something to bring light to your day then look no further, because incredible footage has captured a pod of dolphins 'glowing' as they swim through the ocean.

Photographer Patrick Coyne – who took the video off of the coast of Newport Beach in California – described the sight as one of the most “magical” nights of his life.

The light show was caused by the dolphins disturbing the tiny organisms, which glow in a form of fear response.

Coyne had seen dolphins swimming through bioluminescent waters on a programme on Netflix and became determined to capture the beautiful sight himself.

He wrote on Instagram:

We were out for a few hours and on our final stretch back we finally had two dolphins pop up to start the incredible glowing show.

A few minutes later and we were greeted by a few more which was insane.

I'm honestly still processing this all… 

The glowing effect, which is often referred to as “the fire of the sea”, requires perfect conditions to capture and is incredibly rare to see on film. It’s produced by microscopic, single-celled organisms known as dinoflagellates, which are found in the the algae species Noctiluca scintillans.

These creatures produce two chemicals luciferin and luciferase, and enzyme. When combined, the enzyme catalyses a reaction on the luciferin resulting in a signature blue flash that lasts up to around 100 milliseconds.

Here's the video:

We don't know about you, but we're very thankful to Coyne (and this pod of dolphins) for literally brightening our day.

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