South African beauty: Natural phenomenon turns False Bay into a magical wonderland

South African beauty: Natural phenomenon turns False Bay into a magical wonderland

A photographer snapped an image of False Bay, which looked like something straight out of a fantasy movie.

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However, it's not magic or Photoshop that made False Bay lit up with beautiful blue lights. No, the actual explanation has to do with science in nature. learned the phenomenon was created by bioluminescent phytoplankton.

The photo was shared on the Eric Nathan Photography Facebook page, along with a time-lapse video of the rare occurrence.

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But why was the bay glowing? Eric, the man who took the photo, spoke to The South African to explain exactly what was happening.

“The luminescence occurs when the plankton are disturbed (waves breaking, swimming in it etc) and it is only during such disturbance that the plankton lights up. Apparently, this is to attract predators that feed off the predators which are feeding on the plankton.”
“It’s obviously only visible at night, so to photograph it you need to use a high sensitivity setting (mine was set to 1600 but even higher would be better if your camera offers it), and for a good image, you’ll need a tripod. I was lucky there was almost no moon that night, as it gave me a better effect.”

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