Imagine: you are walking on the beach in Kijkduin or Scheveningen and suddenly the surf lights up bright blue. Magical, right? That is indeed what it looks like. But in reality, this is a group of scared algae. Sea spark! You don’t often come across them at Scheveningen and Kijkduin, unless you know where to go. And above all: when. We’ll tell you more about it.
The pictures of sea sparkle that you see sometimes seem photoshopped. In some cases, photographers do indeed use a slow shutter speed, so that the light in the photo is brighter than in real life. But believe us: sea spark can really be that bright. And of course you want to see that with your own eyes.
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A terrified alga
As we said, sea sparkle is actually a frightened alga (insofar as algae have emotions). The sea spark algae produces light when there are possible enemies in the area, to scare them off. It just doesn’t have the desired effect on humans. We just jump at the mysterious light.
The sea spark already lights up with a small displacement of water, like waves. This is also called bioluminescence: a chemical process in which a lot of energy is released and converted into light. When many (millions of) sea spark algae float together, this creates a light spectacle.
Welcome, heat wave!
So you only see the blue light when a lot of algae float together. When does that happen? Especially in the summer. Sea spark multiplies when the sun is shining brightly and the temperature of the water rises quickly. For example: 25 degrees and plenty of sun can mean an explosion of algae.
Now you know what to do during the next heat wave: take an evening walk on the beach. Because yes, you can only see the luminescent algae in the dark.
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Hotspots for sea spark
Besides the time, there is still the place. The exact location of sea sparkles is difficult to determine, as they are tiny wandering creatures. However, you are more likely to see the blue light in calm waters, right along the coastline or in ports. Calm, shallow water warms up the fastest.
At Scheveningen you will therefore be able to search the harbor and the surf.
Report for sea spark
Don’t feel like going hunting yourself? Then keep an eye on the sea spark hotline. In this Also this Facebook group people keep each other informed about sea spark.
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