Glowing Waves and Sand

This discussion topic submitted by Shannon ( at 1:37 PM on 9/30/02. Additions were last made on Sunday, December 8, 2002.

I too witnessed something quite similiar to what Ruth Nelson saw.. I was at a small beach close to Laguna Beach at night time...and the waves appeared to be glowing. They look almost like a light is inside the cresting wave.They are glowing blue. The most amazing thing to me was, that the damp sand (not too dry or too wet), was glowing as I walked on it. It would glow for a second and then stop. I found my self kicking sand everywhere and dancing creating the most fantastic glowing phenomenom. I never saw it again until 2 nights ago at Balboa Beach. Not every wave was glowing, about one in eight. And you could only see it away from all light sources. As you exposed the sand to the air, you could see a few tiny particles glow but not as extreme as before. I was wondering if someone could explain this to me. Is it just micro organisms? Why does it only glow when the waves crest? Why is it still glowing in the sand? Why does it only glow in the damp sand? Does this happen more frequently in certain areas than others? How often can something like this be viewed? What is the best place to see this in the world? In Southern California? Are there areas that always appear to having glowing waves/sand? Is it more common during certain times of the year? Why did it only occur during certain waves the second time I witnessed this? Is it because some waves were coming from an area rich in this organism? I asked everyone on the beach and no one had any knowledge on this matter. I'd be fascinated (along with my friends) to find out the answers to these questions! Also, are there any websites particularly on this topic? Your help is much appreciated!

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