Glow Bloom, Glow!
This hypnotic blue glow in the ocean off Big Sur is actually minuscule dinoflagellate plankton firing off their biological fireworks, and giving the Milky Way a run for its inspirational money. The dinoflagellates bioluminesce when triggered by agitation—whether from a passing predator or the crashing of waves.
According to our colleagues at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), bioluminescence is characterized as the production and emission of light by living organisms and is found throughout nature, from deep-sea corals to fireflies. The phenomenon is also captured on U.S. stamps now, too, with images from MBARI of 10 organisms at their glowing best.