Large crowds gather at Changi Beach on Saturday night to see blue bioluminescent waves

There was also severe congestion on the roads near the beach.

Jane Zhang | March 27, 2022, 05:14 PM

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If you're someone in Singapore who has been on social media in the past few days, you've probably noticed that it seems like everyone and their mother have been posting photos and videos of neon blue water.

Indeed, blue bioluminescent waves have taken Singapore by storm. Many people have been flocking to Singapore's beaches to catch a sight of the unique phenomenon for themselves, crowding the beachfront and even causing traffic jams.

Over one hundred people gather on beachfront

On Saturday (Mar. 26) night, large crowds gathered at Changi Beach to check out the bioluminescent waves.

There were over one hundred people on the beach, and there was quite a crowd until past 1am.

Photo by Zheng Zhangxin.

Photo via Facebook/Feli Feli.

Photo via Facebook/Randy Ler.

Traffic jam caused by crowds

The hordes of people headed toward Changi Beach also caused severe congestion on the roads near the beach.

One Facebook user, Hayden Tan, said that the traffic jam stretched all the way to Loyang.

Photo via Facebook/Hayden Tan.

According to this TikTok, the heavy traffic caused quite a bit of delay.

Travel columnist and former Lianhe Zaobao journalist Yap Seow Choong also posted about trying to get to Changi Beach, writing that after waiting in the traffic jam for a long time, he could not find a parking space as there were so many people rushing to see the bioluminescence.

People don't need to disturb the water

The blue glow is created by a type of plankton known as dinoflagellates. A type of algae, these tiny marine creatures create the bright blue light known as bioluminescence via a chemical reaction.

In massive numbers, the effect is visible to the naked eye. They drift in the sea and are triggered to flash when they sense movements, such as from breaking waves or human disturbance.

On Saturday night, people were spotted throwing sand and branches into the water or even themselves swimming around in hopes of causing the glow.

However, when the plankton are not present, even these extreme disturbances will not emit the blue glow.

When there are plankton there, just the natural movement of the waves will result in the magical-looking phenomenon like this:

Thus, it is not necessary to enter the water or intentionally disturb the environment to enjoy the beauty of the bioluminescence; instead, people can just relax by the coastline and take in the wonder of nature.

Read more about the science behind the blue glow here:

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Top photo via Facebook/Feli Feli.