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Imagine walking along the coast of Taiwan and seeing water that looks a little like this.

That’s exactly what’s happening off the coast of the Matsu Islands right now.

The phenomenon is being referred to as “blue tears” and can only be witnessed directly along the coast. It was previously speculated that the cause of the glowing water was from radioactive pollution, but that theory has since been put to rest.

According to Professor Chiang Kuo-Ping, director of the Institute of Marine Environment and Ecology at National Taiwan Ocean University’s Center of Excellence for the Oceans, the glowing water is caused byNoctiluca scintillans. These findings are the result of a four-month experiment involving island water.

For those of us lacking a science degree, Noctiluca scintillans is the scientific name for sea sparkle, a type of algae that glows but cannot photosynthesize. The sea surrounding the Matsu Islands is believed to have plenty of nutritious salt that the algae feed on.

It’s truly a sight to behold.

 

 

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