Photographer Patrick Coyne captured absolutely magnificent footage that shows a pair of dolphins gracefully swimming through the bioluminescent waters of Newport Beach in Southern California. Coyne had been invited aboard a Zodiac touring boat by Captain Ryan Lawler of Newport Coastal Adventures to film this incredibly rare sight.
Coyne stated that capturing this type of footage had been a dream of his for a long time.
Dolphins swimming in bioluminescence. The first time I saw this actually filmed was a few months back while watching a Night on Earth documentary on Netflix. The second I saw that footage it became a dream of mine to one day capture something similar and that’s exactly what we did. This was by far the most challenging video I’ve shot …We were out for a few hours and on our final stretch back we finally had 2 Dolphins pop up to start the incredible glowing show.
The blue glow was caused by a red tide bloom that was filled with bioluminescent dinoflagellate plankton. According to NOAA, some red tides can be harmful to humans, however, this particular variety was not.
Harmful algal blooms, or HABs, occur when colonies of algae—simple plants that live in the sea and freshwater—grow out of control while producing toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and birds. The human illnesses caused by HABs, though rare, can be debilitating or even fatal. …But not all algal blooms are harmful. Most blooms, in fact, are beneficial because the tiny plants are food for animals in the ocean. In fact, they are the major source of energy that fuels the ocean food web.
Coyne also captured footage of his friend Royce splashing through the bioluminescence.