(Mirror Daily, United States) – A strange phenomenon has occurred these days in South Jersey waters as plankton has come up to the surface, painting the water in a turquoise color resembling the Caribbean.
According to Jeff George, owner of Atlantic City Cruises, this event has attracted many tourists who did not expect to see these waters in such a color. Thanks to the clarity of the water, most people were able to see dolphins swimming, making the Jersey shore the ideal vacation destination.
Many beachgoers confessed that they didn’t expect these waters to resemble so much with the Caribbean. Also, people were thrilled that they could see through the water all the way to the bottom.
The waters are usually colored in a dark green, but this phenomenon has changed them in a turquoise pattern. According to Elizabeth Lacey, a marine science assistant professor at Stockton University in Galloway, cooler waters, which were usually on the bottom, rose to the surface, thanks to the fact that winds coming from the land blew the top layer of the water further away from the shore.
The turquoise pattern originates from the fact phytoplankton are microscopic creatures filled with chlorophyll. According to Oscar Schofield, marine scientists from Rutgers, this phenomenon occurs every year leading to a tremendous plankton bloom.
In other words, South Jersey can be quite a summer destination from now on, thanks to its new touristic attraction similar to the Caribbean. According to Bill Marosi, National Weather Service hydrologist, this event was possible due to the dry weather throughout the Northeast meaning that there was a little runoff in the ocean waters.
When it rains heavily, a significant amount of runoff contaminates the ocean, leading to a massive pollution and increasing the risk of other threats such as the toxic blue-green algae. This parasite blooms because of the high levels of phosphorus in the water.
It consumes large amounts of oxygen creating dead zones where fish, mammals, and other ocean creatures are unable to survive. Also, it is dangerous for humans because it causes severe rashes after skin contact.
If pets, especially dogs, swim in such contaminated waters, they will most likely die after ingesting a lot of toxic algae.
The beautiful plankton event is not expected to last much longer as scientists have identified a wind-pattern shift that will probably change the color of the water back to a dark green.
Image Source: Bogleech