Dolphins Appear To Be ‘Glowing’ As They Swim Through Bioluminescent Algae In Surreal Footage

Sometimes we are so busy with life that we don’t take the time to observe all the natural beauty around us. Thankfully, there are photographers and videographers capturing unique moments and sharing them with the rest of the world.

Patrick Coyne, photographer/videographer from California, recently captured rare footage of dolphins swimming through bioluminescent algae off the coast of Newport. The dolphins appear to be glowing as they glide through the water filled with tiny bioluminescent organisms that give off light as a fear response.

While most people have not been lucky enough to see ‘glowing dolphins’ in person, NOAA states that bioluminescent organisms are commonly found in the ocean. “If you’ve ever seen a firefly, you have encountered a bioluminescent organism. In the ocean, bioluminescence is not as rare as you might think. In fact, most types of animals, from bacteria to sharks, include some bioluminescent members.”

Screen Shot: Instagram/Patrick Coyne

However, capturing the exact moment on camera is no easy task. “For starters the bioluminescence has sweet spots to where it shows up and then fades away so while on the water it’s impossible to just find it. Not only that but actually finding any type of animal in pitch black is just so ridiculously hard,” said Coyne. He was delighted when he realized he captured the moment perfectly.

Screen Shot: Instagram/Patrick Coyne

The idea to film this natural phenomenon came after watching Night on Earth documentary on Netflix. He headed out with Capt. Ryan with Newport Coastal Adventure in hopes of capturing dolphins swimming in the bioluminescent water.

“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,” posted Coyne. “A few minutes later and we were greeted by a few more which was insane. I’m honestly still processing this all.”

Screen Shot: Instagram/Patrick Coyne

Capturing the dolphins was a dream come true for Coyne, but it was not his last encounter with the mesmerizing blue glow.

Coyne was speechless when he experienced vibrant blue waves at his hometown beach, Manhattan Beach, shortly after his dolphin experience. He posted, “I really thought things were starting to slow down with the bioluminescence then this happens! My favorite beach in the world had it’s waves crashing with that beautiful blue glow!”

Screen Shots: Instagram/Patrick Coyne

People cannot get enough of the videos and have called them “epic”, “jaw dropping”, and a “once in a lifetime experience”.

Check out the awe-inspiring dolphin video below and don’t forget to share!

View this post on Instagram

•Dolphins Swimming in Bioluminescence• Last night was truly one of the most magical nights of my life. Capt. Ryan @lawofthelandnsea of @newportcoastaladventure invited me along to capture rare video of 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 for a number of reason. For starters the bioluminescence has sweet spots to where it shows up and then fades away so while on the water it’s impossible to just find it. Not only that but actually finding any type of animal in pitch black is just so ridiculously hard. Conditions have to be absolutely perfect for the bioluminescence to show up and to have an animal swim through it so we can film it. On top of all that just trying to nail the focus at such a wide aperture with something moving in the water was a nightmare. 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. A few minutes later and we were greeted by a few more which was insane. I’m honestly still processing this all and I can’t thank @newportcoastaladventure enough for having me out because without them none of this would be possible. Be sure to check our their edit from last night as well! I hope you all enjoy this video. ——————————————————————————— Shot on a Sony a7Sii with a Rokinon 35mm Cine DS T1.5 Len. Shutter speed: 1/50 Aperture T2 ISO 80,000

A post shared by Patrick Coyne (@patrickc_la) on

Andrea Powell

Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.

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