ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. - The red tide has returned, and you know what that means - bioluminescent waves are lighting up the Southern California coast.
Known scientifically as "lingulodinium polydra," the bioluminescent algae was first spotted in San Diego and is slowly making its way up, most recently reaching parts of Orange County this week.
The phenomenon associated with the red tide - or algae bloom - is filled with dinoflagellates, which then react when moved around by the water. During the daytime, the water may be a deep red, brown, or orange color due to the pigmentation. At night is when the water turns what many describe as "electric blue."
According to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, there is no public health warning associated with the red tide.
So far, enthusiasts shared photos of the bioluminescence from several hotspots including Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Laguna Beach, Bolsa Chica State Beach, Long Beach Harbor and El Morro/Crystal Cove.
While there's no particular way to know when or where the bioluminescent waves will light up, some people recommend the best time to venture out for a glimpse is between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.
"Nobody knows. You have to get lucky and be at the right spot at the right time. If there is a red tide during the day, it may be an indicator of the bio waves at night, but not always. The last few nights its been in HB and Sunset Beach," one person commented on the Facebook page dedicated to where you can see the bioluminescence in SoCal.