Phytoplankton lights up California coast

Tiny, glowing phytoplankton lit up the waves in the coastal town of Big Sur this week.

Photographer George Krieger captured the rare sight Monday and Tuesday. 

The phenomenon was caused by a bioluminescent phytoplankton bloom. Tiny single-cell organisms called dinoglagellates formed near the surface causing the glowing spectacle. 

The organisms are always present, but can only be seen under certain conditions.

In this case, calm weather, calm sea and when nutrients near the surface.