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The fluorescent blue glow in the waters off Hong Kong is an algal bloom called Noctiluca scintillans. Photo / AP

Eerie fluorescent blue patches of water glimmering off Hong Kong’s seashore are magnificent, disturbing and potentially toxic, marine biologists say.

The glow is an indicator of a harmful algal bloom created by something called Noctiluca scintillans, nicknamed sea sparkle.

It looks like algae and can act like algae. But it’s not quite. It is a single-celled organism that technically can function as both animal and plant.

By Seth Borenstein
Read more at New Zealand Herald

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