Surfer rides surreal bioluminescent waves off California coast

Thanks to advancements in technology, light shows are a fairly common source of entertainment.

But every now and then, mother nature puts on a show without the help of bulbs or electricity.

Cameron Franco was in position to capture one of nature’s rarest beauties on April 27: neon blue water. He filmed a surfer as they glided across the rare bioluminescent waves just off the coast of California.

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The waves are caused by the red tide, aptly named for its reddish hue in daylight. But at night, the water glows neon blue, according to San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

“Red tides are due to aggregations of dinoflagellates including Ceratium falcatiforme and Lingulodinium polyedra, the latter of which is well known for its bioluminescent displays, with waves or movement in the water causing the phytoplankton to glow neon blue at night,” the institute wrote in a Facebook post.

The illuminated waves can be seen from along Baja California in Mexico to Los Angeles.

It’s unknown how long the phenomena will last. SIO said previous events have lasted anywhere from a few days to a whole month.

Even so, the viewing window may be closed. Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to close all of California’s beaches and parks in an effort to enforce social distancing guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom expected to announce full closure of California beaches, state parks

This story was reported from Atlanta,