For many, seeing a pod of dolphins unexpectedly swim up to them can feel like a rare and magical occurrence. On a night filled with endless possibilities, photographers Patrick Coyne and Ryan Lawler captured an unanticipated sighting of glowing dolphins immersed in neon blue bioluminescence. Viewers are in for a treat as this footage is a result of patient artistry on Wednesday, April 22, 2020—the 50th year anniversary of Earth Day.
“I was like, this can’t be happening,” said Coyne, according to OC Register. “This is so magical. After the two dolphins were playing with us, a few more joined in.” This was a pleasant surprise after being out on an inflatable boat with thoughts of giving up.
“It’s not something you can just plan. It was showing up in little sections, we would drive the boat a bit, it would be bright and then it would go away,” he said. “You can’t really find it, it’s pitch black. We could see it when it would start glowing, there’s no way for us to predict it.”
The dreamy effects of bioluminescence are a result of is a natural phenomenon caused by dinoflagellates, tiny swimming plants. They contain enzymes and proteins that create vivid colors along a dark oceanic canvas. Typically a thick red tide precedes during the day as a sign of possible luminescence to occur come the night. According to OC Register, Red tides are unpredictable and not all of them produce bioluminescence.
However, the photographers trusted a hunch that a fun group of sea creatures would appear. “They were bow riding, they were super into the boat. About five minutes in, two more came and we had a little pod of four dolphins,” Lawler said. “It was amazing.”
Coyne gathered hours of footage and shares dreams to make a mini-documentary, according to OC Register.
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