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'Blue Tears' make a comeback in Pingtan

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2014-07-07

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The glowing beaches of Pingtan, an island county in East China's Fujian province, have captured the eyes of tourists across the country once again.

'Blue Tears' make a comeback in Pingtan

The beach seems dotted with blue spots at Tannan Bay, a scenic spot in Pingtan county. [Photo/pingtan.gov.cn]

Dotted with luminous blue spots at night, the beaches in Pingtan's coastal areas seem like a mini-Milky Way, a glowing mystery beneath their admirers' feet.

The flickering lights are actually alive, a kind of ostracod sometimes referred to as “blue sand” or “blue tears,” that gets to the beach by riding tides. The blue effect is due to a light organ that some possess, which, according to experts, produces their bioluminescence.

Most of the ostracods use light as a defense mechanism, but some use it for mating. Sadly, they only survive for a few seconds.

The "blue tears" rose to national fame last August when they were first spotted and then hyped by a number of media outlets. This summer, they made an earlier appearance.

Lin Qian, a local resident who said she made her way to Tannan Bay to watch the smurfs, said she had a hunch that tourists nationwide would come to Pingtan for the unique scene.

“I'm so lucky to watch them in person. They are really beautiful, like fireworks in the water, but they vanish in a flash,” said Chen Fang.

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