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Dakshina Kannada-Udupi coast witness bioluminescence

24th November, 2020 Science and Technology

Context: Bioluminescence being witnessed along the Dakshina Kannada-Udupi coast during the past few days due to the bloom of dinoflagellates, scientifically called Noctiluca scintillans and commonly known as sea sparkle.

  • High temperature, high quantity of organic material such as sewage and effluents and increased turbulence/wave action of the water could be the cause for the sudden bloom.
  • Apart from human causes, the adverse impact of global warming leading to increased sea water temperature could be playing a major role in such phenomenon.
  • The college would track the bloom and find out if there were any fish kill or obnoxious smell from the area.


  • It is light emitted by living organisms or algae through chemical reactions in their bodies, could also be the ghostly glow of bacteria on decaying organic matter or in the sediment/sand.
  • Bioluminescence by Noctiluca, genus of marine dinoflagellate in the family of Noctilucaceae, was the most commonly occurring event across the world.
  • Such blooms, which form a thick scum across the sea surface, visibly red or pink in daylight, are known to be hazardous to fish and certain other marine species.