A bioluminescent “red tide” (so called for the algae’s color during the day) has been setting the Pacific’s nighttime waves ablaze in blue this spring, with the colorful glow-in-the-dark algae spotted from Baja California all the way up to Ventura County. Weeks after the natural (and non-toxic) phenomenon began, reports out Tuesday, May 12, stated the tide was giving way to what the LA Times called “a smelly mess of dying algae.” The smell comes from the algae dying and breaking down.

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