A California aquarium shared video of an unusual light show that resulted when light-producing plankton caused bioluminescent waves to crash toward shore.

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The Monterey Bay Aquarium said the waves spotted just off shore along the coast in Monterey Bay appeared to be glowing blue due to the presence of plant-plankton known as dinoflagellates, but the specific species involved in the recent waves had yet to be identified.

"When a dinoflagellate is shaken up, a light-emitting chemical reaction inside the plankter produces a blue flash that startles a would-be predator, limiting their effectiveness -- imagine a strobe light going off with every bite of a sandwich," the aquarium said.

The aquarium said bioluminescent plankton are common in the ocean, but it's unusual to see such a prominent light display so close to the shore.