North Sea red slick identified as sea sparkle; swimming ban still in force
The Rijkswaterstaat has identified the red substance floating in the North Sea between Wassenaar and Scheveningen as Noctiluca scintillans, more commonly known as sea sparkle. People are still advised not to swim in the North Sea today. Sea sparkle is a tiny marine creature that exhibits bio-luminescence when disturbed. The luminous enzyme that the creature emits is not toxic, but can cause irritation to the skin respiratory tract. "It therefore seems better that people do not go into the water", a spokesperson for the Rijkswaterstaat said, NU reports. The Coast Guard will perform a reconnaissance flight on Monday to examine how much the sea sparkle is still visible. The Rijkswaterstaat will reexamine the water later today.
Sea sparkles occur naturally in the North Sea. Due to the current hot, sunny and relatively windless weather, the creature is reproducing rapidly, with the red glow as a result. The animal looks like a small transparent bubble with a tail and is commonly between 0.5 and 1 millimeter in diameter.