New Jersey beach goers were incredibly shocked to recently find that the usual greyish tint to their beaches had suddenly become aquamarine, and resembling the color of beautiful Caribbean waters.
NASA used an Aqua satellite to see that the oceans around South New Jersey had become the tropical color due to a bloom in phytoplankton. The color is also a result of unusual weather patterns and newspapers urge residents to go see the water’s beautiful hue before it goes away.
This phenomenon is due to phytoplankton, a tiny microscopic plant that lives in the water and contains chlorophyll. Because of cold water rising to the surface, or upwelling, the plant has been blooming. And when hard winds blow away the surface of the water, the color becomes even more prominent and especially gorgeous.
It is also reported that the water has become clearer than normal, which is thought not to have anything to do with the phytoplankton, but perhaps a weather event that has happened inland. Experts are attributing this to the dry conditions of the northeast over the past few months as well as lessening of freshwater runoffs and river flows. Water temperatures have also dropped to around 60 degrees in the last couple of weeks, but are now in the low 70s.
Though the ocean may look beautiful for the time being, it may not last for long, as wind will likely move the phytoplankton away from New Jersey, leaving the tropical-looking waters to go back to their natural grey hue.
Phytoplankton can sometimes cause issues to both marine life and human life and deplete the oxygen within the ocean, however, experts say that these phytoplankton are not likely to be harmful, and instead will simply offer locals and visitors alike a little respite from the normally dull Jersey shore waters.
Experts are urging those live near the beaches to go and visit them before the phenomenon ends. For those who haven’t planned a trip to the clear waters of the Caribbean, this may be a good chance to imagine yourself there.